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More migrants cross the northern border into the United States as Mexicans fly to Canada and then head south

The number of migrants crossing the border from Canada to the United States is increasing – in an area of ​​more than 700% – as more and more Mexicans desperate to enter the United States travel to Canada and try to cross by freezing temperatures.

A family recently arrested by Border Patrol in Vermont was carrying an 8-month-old baby in temperatures of -4 degrees Fahrenheit. A photo of the family shared by Customs and Border Protection on Facebook showed a man and woman carrying the baby and a 2-year-old child in their arms through snow and ice in the dark of night.

Arrests in the area where the family was found, known as the Swanton area, which includes sections of Vermont, New York and New Hampshire, rose to 1,146 from October 1 to December 31, 2022, compared to only 136 the previous year. Across the northern border, crossings from Canada to the United States rose from 16,000 to 42,000 over the same period, according to CBP data.

Mexicans are by far the top nationality entering the United States in the Swanton area, followed by Haitians and Guatemalans, according to CBP data.

US Border Patrol cameras capture migrants crossing the border into the United States near Mooers, NY during a winter storm last December.US Border Patrol Sector Swanton via Facebook

As the Biden administration continues to use Covid restrictions, via Title 42 policy, to block migrants at the southern border, Mexicans at these crossings are being turned away more than any other nationality, accounting for more than 60% of all evictions.

But for those who can afford the roughly $350 one-way airfare from Mexico to Montreal or Toronto, their chances of not being sent back as Title 42 are much better. A migrant, whose last name is Cruz and who was recently arrested by Border Patrol and named in a court filing, told border agents that he and his wife entered Canada legally by traveling to Toronto.

The couple struggled to find work in Canada, Cruz told border officials, so they attempted to cross into the United States before being apprehended, according to the court filing.

Like migrants seeking to cross the southern border, organized criminal organizations also play a role in smuggling migrants into Canada.

In freezing weather, our #BorderPatrol officers continue to encounter families illegally crossing the border with children, such as this recent occurrence involving an 8-month-old and 2-year-old child in Newport, Vermont on February 3, 2023.
Night cameras along the Canada-US border capture a family with an 8-month-old and 2-year-old child crossing south in Newport, Vermont on February 3.US Border Patrol Sector Swanton via Facebook

Cruz told border agents he wired a man $1,000 as bail for him and his wife to enter the United States, on the understanding that he would pay an additional $1,000 after crossing. He hoped he and his wife would eventually be taken to live and work in New York, he said, before he was arrested in Derby Line, Vermont, driving with a Chilean national, a man believed to be the smuggler that he paid. .

“This area has been used in the past for human smuggling,” a border official told the court.

Border officials say they are concerned about sub-zero temperatures sending migrants hypothermic, especially those with young children.

More and more families are crossing with their minor children along the northern border. From October 1 to December 31, 2022, 6,709 migrant families with children entered the United States from Canada, compared to 1,500 during the same period in 2021. CBP has not yet released data on the number of undocumented migrants who attempted to cross northern or southern borders in January.

Across the Vermont border, in the small Quebec town of Saint-Armand, a farmer told NBC News via Instagram that it’s not uncommon for locals to see migrants crossing the border in both sense. He said locals know to leave migrants alone when they are seen crossing from Canada to the United States.

“Never drive someone [the] border was what I was told. Let them walk. Which is good, because it’s two minutes away,” said David McMillan, owner of Hayfield Farm, a property less than 1.2 miles from the US-Canada line.

nbcnews Gt

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