Migrants Apprehended at Northern Border Sector Exceed Last 12 Years Combined

Swanton Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended more migrants crossing the Canadian Border into the U.S. this year than in the past twelve years combined, according to the sector chief patrol agent. A recent change in Canadian immigration policies could bring a positive change in this disturbing trend.

“In FY23, SWB caught an unprecedented number of undocumented migrants, surpassing the prior 11 fiscal years combined,” Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia said earlier this month on X. “During the first four months of FY24, SWB has doubled the number of apprehensions made during the same period in FY23.”

Unofficial Border Patrol reports reviewed by Breitbart Texas reveal that Swanton Sector agents apprehended more than 4,000 migrants during the first five months of FY24, which began on October 1, 2023. This is up by more than 100 percent from the same period in record-shattering FY23.

Reporters from WBZ CBS Boston rode along with Swanton Sector agents earlier this month, Garcia posted on X.

“It was a flood we had never seen before. It was an exponential shift, something we were not expecting and it just hit us hard,” Breecher Falls Station Patrol Agent in Charge Erik Lavalee told the reporters. In more than two decades of service to the Border Patrol, Lavalee said he has never experienced this type of migrant surge on the northern border.

The station chief told the reporters that most of the migrants they encounter are not looking to surrender.

“Here, we’re not seeing the same prevalence of individuals requesting either asylum or wanting to be caught,” Lavelle told the reporters. “The people here that we’re seeing for the most part, they’re trying to find that seam. They’re trying to find that vulnerability and come into the United States without detection.”

Part of the cause of the surge was a change in Canadian immigration policies a few years back. The change allowed migrants from many countries, including Mexico, to fly to Canada without obtaining a travel visa. The only requirement was that the migrant obtain a low-cost electronic authorization form.

“For a very minimal fee, they would be able to enter the country as a tourist,” Lavallee explained. “Some folks, utilizing the ETA program, were being arrested here in the United States for illegal entry within 24 hours of their landing in Canada.”

During FY23, Swanton Sector agents apprehended approximately 7,000 migrants who illegally crossed from Canada into Eastern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Of those, more than half, 3,747 came from Mexico and the Central American Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

A recent change in Canadian immigration policies could have some positive impact on the increasing numbers of migrants choosing to enter the U.S. via its northern border. At the end of February, Canadian immigration officials reinstituted an visa requirement for Mexican nationals, CBS reported.

It may be too early to see the impact of this immigration policy change. In the first three weeks of March, the unofficial report reviewed by Breitbart shows Swanton Sector agents apprehended more than 900 migrants. This is more than double the same period one year earlier when agents apprehended just over 400 migrants. The official report will likely be released in mid-April.

“Border Patrol said they have arrested individuals from 66 different countries, including India, Bangladesh, Haiti, and Venezuela,” the CBS report.

Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday morning talk show. He also serves as president of Blue Wonder Gun Care Products 

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