Sophisticated Human Smugglers Operate Over Border With Canada

Unsettling video footage and interviews with U.S. residents near the northern border with Canada published by the New York Post on Sunday reveal a busy human smuggling operation for illegal immigrants via Canada in addition to the illegal border crossing operations wreaking havoc at the southern border with Mexico.

Residents living in Swanton, Vermont — a town with a population of around 6,500 people located between Lake Champlain and a 10-minute drive to the Canadian border — report witnessing first-hand for months the nation’s illegal immigration crisis unfold from Canada.

The thick woods around the town make it a spot hunter’s favor, but human smugglers also like using the ample foliage of the area’s forest for camouflage as they move illegal immigrants over the border from Canada into the United States. One local resident said, “Now I’ve got the Border Patrol guys on speed dial.”

The record number of illegal immigrants breaching the southern border has received attention from the media and state and local politicians, but human smugglers are also breaching the northern border. According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, 12,200 illegal aliens gained unauthorized entry into the U.S. from Canada last year, a 240% increase over 2022.

Of those over a dozen thousand of illegal crossings, 70% happened along the 295-mile stretch through the Swanton Sector, which includes upstate New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Meanwhile, illegal border crossings at the southern border are staggering, with 2.4 million encounters with illegal immigrants recorded at the border with Mexico in 2023 and authorities reporting a record-setting 276,000 encounters in December.

But experts say illegal immigrants are catching onto the fact that authorities are less likely to find them on the northern border — and they can get a one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto for $350.

“The Border Patrol actually told us, ‘You guys might want to put a pistol in your backpack’ because nine out of 10 of them are just here for a better life, but there’s that one guy that’s got a rap sheet,” Chris Feeley — a resident of Swanton told the Post.