Growing numbers of Mexicans flying to Canada and sneaking across the northern border – By Anna Giaritelli (Washington Examiner) / Nov 8 2019
CHAMPLAIN, New York — Mexican citizens are increasingly being arrested for illegally entering the United States from Canada, and the majority are going through a specific part of Vermont and northeastern New York, according to federal law enforcement officials.
In the area, known as the Swanton Sector, 822 people were stopped while traversing fields and forests between official crossing points, more than the total, 758, arrested for crossing in all seven other regions on the Canadian border. Mexicans and Romanians make up 565 of the 822 known illegal entrants.
Norm Lague oversees operations at Champlain Station, the busiest of Swanton Sector’s eight offices. During a tour of the region this week provided to the Washington Examiner, Lague said his station’s intelligence unit had concluded more than half of Mexicans and Romanians they arrested had flown into Canada by way of its Electronic Travel Authorization program. The three-year-old program allows citizens from certain countries to enter without first obtaining a visa. People from those two nations are not allowed to enter the U.S. without a visa, but they are legally entering Canada and sneaking across the border from there.
“A majority of the people who we’re apprehending from these countries have leveraged this program,” said Lague. “It’s a pathway that we discovered years ago was starting to shift as far as people being smuggled from the southern border to Canada and then coming south. And I think that trend, once it gets well known … I can see that trend continuing, most definitely.”
No wall or fence exists on the northern border — only the occasional barbed wire or short stone wall separates the countries.
A gate sits on a once-continuing road on the U.S.-Canada border in upstate New York. The gray monument to its right marks the international border. (Anna Giaritelli/Washington Examiner)