In a remote stretch of border connecting northeastern New York and Vermont, more than 1,500 people have been caught trekking through the woods from Canada into the U.S. between Oct. 1 and the end of January. During the same period a year earlier, border agents made 160 arrests in the same area. Across the entire northern U.S. border, 2,227 people, nearly the total for all of the 2022 budget year, have been arrested crossing the border. The migrants are among the record numbers of migrants who are crossing the U.S.-Canadian border—heading both north and south—in the midst of a continuing crackdown on the southwest border and lengthy waits for asylum decisions in U.S. immigration courts, the Wall Street Journal reports. The activity likely is the result of a general tightening along the U.S.-Mexico border. The number of arrests along the Canadian border remains a small fraction of those from the southwest border. Still, federal officials along the Canadian border have said they have never before seen this volume of arrests. Nearly two-thirds of the southbound migrants arrested by U.S. border agents are from Mexico, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Some of those arrested have previously been in the U.S., and others are newly arrived migrants who have sought to avoid the southwest border, said border officials, local law enforcement and immigration lawyers. The 295-mile stretch along the border is patrolled by fewer than 300 agents. Unlike along the southern border, there is no fencing. Agents in the area are overwhelmed with any uptick in arrests and, at times, they must rescue lost border crossers. A Border Patrol official last month sent out a request for volunteers to help out in the region. Robert Garcia, the top Border Patrol officer in the area, tweeted a photo of what appeared to be barefoot footprints in deep snow as he warned migrants not to cross illegally in the region. “Perilous weather has done nothing to deter this traffic. Don’t risk it!” Garcia said. Canadian officials have recorded a record number of people crossing the border from the U.S. into Canada to seek asylum there. In 2022, nearly 40,000 people crossed into Canada, most crossing over a short footpath at a cul-de-sac at the top of New York into Quebec. In 2021, 4,246 migrants crossed the border.
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