Illegal immigrants target Minnesota-North Dakota border with Canada

It was only a matter of time until the seemingly endless stream of illegal immigrants and human smugglers aiding and abetting them started probing the porous U.S. border with Canada. Eastern states bordering Canada have already experienced a surge in aliens attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.

Even as U.S. officials look the other way while millions of illegals pour through the southern border, the border patrol claims to be cracking down along the northern border. A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol update in April warned of “expedited consequences” for anyone caught in the act in the sector covering New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

Since March 13, 2023, U.S. Border Patrol’s Swanton Sector, in conjunction with federal partners, has increased its expedited repatriation process for individuals illegally crossing the northern border into the United States. 

This repatriation process includes additional personnel support, transportation logistics, optimized processes across the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice, and coordination between the State Department and foreign countries. 

Through this process and cooperation with El Paso and Rio Grande Valley sectors, Swanton Sector has promptly repatriated 204 individuals – who were apprehended while attempting to illegally enter the United States from Canada – to their home country.

Officials warn the number of undocumented individuals trying to enter into Minnesota and North Dakota also continues to rise. The latest evidence involves the arrest of nearly two dozen individuals first spotted by local law enforcement officers in northwestern Minnesota earlier this month.

The Kittson County Sheriff’s Office notified Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Pembina and Warroad Stations that they witnessed multiple people walking south from the international border with Canada. Officers also noticed two cars in the area and stopped the vehicles. Border Patrol Agents arrived shortly afterwards and discovered 20 people that had just crossed the border illegally. 

“This was a great example of our agents and our local law enforcement partners working together,” Chief Patrol Agent Scott D. Garrett said. The communication and collaboration between our agencies was the reason we were able to catch the migrants. As a reminder, it is unlawful to enter the United States anywhere other than a designated Port of Entry.”

The 16 men, 5 women and 1 three-year old child were Mexican citizens, except for two Guatemalan citizens transporting them. They were turned over to Customs Enforcement agents for processing and removal from the country.

Border patrol authorities see steadily increasing numbers of illegals attempting to enter the U.S. in the remote border area between the Pembina and Warroad entry points, according to KARE-TV.

According to the most recent six-month data period in Fiscal Year 2023, the Border Patrol Grand Forks Sector reported 100 encounters with migrants from October 2022 through March 2023 — a figure that already surpasses the entire total from the previous fiscal year. Seventy percent of the people apprehended have been natives of Mexico, who can fly to Canada without a visa and then make a crossing attempt into the U.S.

Last month, in fact, Border Patrol agents rescued several men from Mexico crossing into northern Minnesota near Warroad, where they became stuck in frozen floodwaters. 

“This year, we are probably going to see two and a half times the amount of apprehensions, if we keep on this pace, than we did all of last year. It’s a significant increase,” said Xavier Ruiz, the patrol agent in charge for the Pembina station. “We do have some indicators that the number could spike even further than that.”

All of which leaves you to wonder how many more illegals have already taken advantage of the sparsely populated and patrolled border to slip into the U.S. via Minnesota and North Dakota with little chance of being apprehended any time soon.