While President Trump has been focused on building a border wall with Mexico and is reportedly planning to ask for $8.6 billion for it, the illegal entries from Canada are slowly increasing, a new report shows.
According to the data released by the Customs and Border Protection, more than 960 people crossed the US-Canada border illegally in 2018. You may argue that the number is not impressive, especially compared to the thousands of undocumented migrants from Central America coming from the Southern border with Mexico.
However, that is a 91 increase from the previous fiscal year, the study says. The border patrol data shows that in fiscal 2017, the immigration authorities apprehended 504 illegal migrants coming from Canada. A year later, their number grew to 963.
The highest increase came from the Swanton border patrol sector, along the border of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. While the agents arrested 165 undocumented people there in 2017, their number went up significantly in 2018, to reach 548 illegal migrants.
Furthermore, the initial data from October 2018 to January 2019, shows 465 arrests from the Canadian border, including 294 in the Swanton area.
According to Border Patrol Agent Richard Ross who works in Newport, Vermont, part of the Swanton sector, the undocumented migrants coming from Canada were well-organized. He also added that many of them used some smuggling organizations to enter the US.
In his view, there is now a widespread misconception that coming from Canada was ''safer'' compared to the Mexican border. Ross suggested that it could have something to do with the recent changes in the Canadian immigration law, allowing citizens of certain countries such as Mexico or Romania to enter without a visa.
Therefore, it was easy for many of them who were planning to pursue the American dream to buy a plane ticket to Canada and pay the electronic travel authorization fee to reach the US commented Ross. He also highlighted that the business of the smuggling agencies in the area was too blooming.
In his practice, he came across numerous undocumented migrants who were lured to Canada with the promises for employment. Upon arrival, it quickly became clear that there were no jobs for them which made those people ''ready-made'' clients for smugglers.
Asked to comment on the issue, the spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, confirmed that the Ottawa and Washington have been working together on the problem. However, in his view, the impact of the Mexican and Romanian visa waivers was minimal.
What do you think? Would you say that in its attempt to build a wall with Mexico, the US government left the Canadian border a bit behind?