Between October 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022, the U.S. Border Patrol's Swanton sector along the U.S.-Canada border recorded a 743 percent increase in apprehensions and encounters of illegal border crossings compared to the same timeframe in 2021, another result of President Joe Biden's open-border policies that have already brought chaos to the U.S.-Mexico border.
In less than four months, Swanton Sector’s apprehensions have surpassed the COMBINED two prior years (FY2021-2022). In the face of this adversity, our #BorderPatrol Agents remain steadfast in their portrayal of our ideals: Vigilance, Integrity, & Service to Country. #HonorFirst pic.twitter.com/BqVRnpbDib— Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia (@USBPChiefSWB) January 24, 2023
According to CBP, "[c]ombined apprehensions and encounters in Fiscal Year 2023 have already surpassed that of Fiscal Year 2022 and recent trends represent a sustained increase in illegal border crossings as we head into the harshest winter months." That is, it's not just "irregular migration," as the Biden administration has tried to portray the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a "sustained increase" brought about by Biden's lax border policies.
Increased Illicit Crossings Carry Higher Risk in Winter: For OCT-DEC 2022, #BorderPatrol Swanton Sector had a near-743% increase in encounters over the same prior-year period. In the midst of #NorthCountry winter, safety is a grave concern. Press release: https://t.co/3PE8LLCGwu— Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia (@USBPChiefSWB) January 25, 2023
"Swanton Sector's greatest concern in carrying out our mission of border security is the preservation of life—the lives of community residents we are sworn to protect, the lives of our Border Patrol Agents carrying out the mission day-in and day-out in the field, and the lives of the individuals, families, and children we are charged with apprehending as they attempt to circumvent legal processes for entry," Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert N. Garcia said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, the transnational criminal organizations that stand to profit from the increased flow of human traffic care only about profits and have no concern for the welfare of those whose plight they seek to exploit for financial gain," Garcia reminded.
While the U.S.-Canada border is vastly different from the U.S.-Mexico border, CBP warns that attempting to illegally enter the U.S. from Canada is not much safer:
Swanton Sector's terrain along the International Boundary with Canada includes rural and remote areas and ranges from mountains to lowland swamps. During the regional winter, which encompasses an extended season due to the sector's geographic location and weather patterns, sustained sub-freezing temperatures subject both large and small bodies of water within our area of operations to freezing over. Unpredictable storm fronts bring ice and significant snow accumulation throughout the extended winter season. These geographic and weather features can make traversing unfamiliar territory perilous. Additionally, the risk of hypothermia from sustained or even brief outdoor exposure to near-freezing temperatures in wet or windy conditions is significant.
These environmental challenges, coupled with the sharp increase in illicit cross-border traffic, generate great concern for the potential loss of human life. In recent press releases, Swanton Sector highlighted several instances of family groups and individuals rescued from cold-weather-related crises and trauma. Unfortunately, these types of events have not diminished as Swanton Sector Border Patrol continues to encounter family groups with children (aged as young as a few months old) crossing uncertain terrain in single-digit (Fahrenheit) temperatures. In many cases, Border Patrol Agents tasked with detecting, identifying, and apprehending individuals attempting to unlawfully cross the border end up rescuing them and rendering potentially life-saving aid—all while the Agents are selflessly placing themselves in harm's way.
Many individuals seeking to cross illegally are ill-informed of the dangers and poorly outfitted for the weather and terrain they encounter in Swanton Sector. In the midst of our coldest months, January and February, the stated risks have only increased.
Reckless Endangerment: In freezing temperatures over uncertain terrain, families with children, from just a few months old, continue to illegally cross from Canada into the U.S. The risk to human lives—including #BorderPatrol Agents—is increasing. Illegal & irresponsible. pic.twitter.com/TSf18gQIQ8— Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia (@USBPChiefSWB) January 23, 2023