Katie Kerekes, FISM News
While rapidly rising concerns mount over the United States’ southern border crisis, the northern border is facing a crisis of its own. CBP agents stationed on the U.S./Canada border say they are “grappling” with a massive wave of illicit drugs and illegal entries.
As reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF), Border Patrol agents seized 1,500 pounds of drugs at the northern border in the five months between October 2022 and February 2023, already surpassing the total number of seizures from fiscal year 2022.
Last week in Algonac, Michigan, agents seized 38 pounds of ecstasy pills which a CBP press release revealed were smuggled in part by a Canadian citizen who was previously removed from the U.S.
In addition, CBP reports illegal immigrant encounters and apprehensions have reached “historic highs,” as a striking 846% increase has been recorded in the Swanton sector, which includes parts of New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
NEW: Border Patrol leadership is asking for agents to voluntarily deploy to the northern border’s overwhelmed Swanton sector (VT/NH/NY), which has seen an 846% increase in illegal crossings since October, and saw more illegal crossings in January (367) than the previous 12… pic.twitter.com/sb4UnJAWOy
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) February 19, 2023
“Despite sub-freezing temperatures, Swanton Sector continues encountering family groups with young children, including infants, illegally crossing from Canada into the U.S.,” a U.S. Customs and Border Protections release from February stated. Officials are concerned that the border inundation will be exacerbated by favorable weather conditions as the weather turns.
According to National Border Patrol Council President Sean Walsh, the northern border is unable to meet the current demand and will be overwhelmed by a further influx.
“We have less agents in the field today than we did a few years ago, and we’re catching more,” Walsh told DCNF, faulting the current administration for the grave condition of U.S. border security.
He said that approximately 2,000 agents patrol the entire 5,525-mile stretch of the northern border.
As previously reported by FISM, staffing concerns prompted the deployment of National Guard troops to the southern border last October from 13 states and two U.S. territories. Despite this, CBP remains “overwhelmed, under-resourced, and undermanned,” according to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who represents a northern border district.
As calls to action at the border continue, the Biden Administration announced a plan last week to expedite migrant processing at the border. GOP members, however, maintain the president is missing the mark in handling the border crisis, as a total of 350 miles of the wall remain unfinished.
Last month, the administration was under heavy criticism when reports revealed millions of dollars are being wasted for the wall to remain unfinished. The government is paying private landowners 130 thousand dollars per day to store already-delivered wall materials.
Many conservatives contend that the completion of the southern border would produce a domino effect of immense relief for overworked CBP agents and allow the reallocation of manpower for much-needed northern border assistance.