Federal authorities have added 25 border patrol agents at a section of the northeastern U.S. border with Quebec in response to a spike in illegal crossings.
The team, which started on Monday, will help to deter and disrupt human smuggling activities in the sector that includes the border areas of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and parts of upstate New York, a U.S. Custom and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement.
“While the apprehension numbers are small compared to other areas with irregular migration flows, Swanton Sector apprehensions constitute a large change in this area,” the spokesperson said.
Last month, the death of a Mexican man who had just entered Vermont from Canada illegally highlighted the spike in illegal crossings along the border between Quebec and parts of New England, officials say. It marked the first death in recent memory of someone who crossed illegally in that area.
Statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that agents in the sector apprehended 1,513 illegal border crossers between Oct. 1, 2022 through Jan. 31, 2023, up from 160 in the same period the year before. But the total number apprehended along the entire northern border this fiscal year, 2,227, is a small fraction of those apprehended along the U.S.-Mexican border during that same period, 762,383.