WASHINGTON, D.C. – The northern U.S. border separating the U.S. from Canada is one of the longest international boundary lines. While most of the immigration focus is on our southern border, congressional members believe a human and drug trafficking crisis is brewing in the northern border.
“It’s not like our southern border but we do have an incredible number of people coming through that area; and they’re not only bringing themselves and some others, they’re also bringing drugs with them and it’s an incredible assault on the northern border,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R- PA).
A handful of congressional members including from Michigan and New York and others representing northern border communities, created the Northern Border Security Caucus. A group specifically created to focus on human and drug trafficking on the US-Canada border.
Members point the finger at President Joe Biden’s policies for an immigration surge.
“Migrant encounters at the northern borders have tripled in the last two years,” said Rep. Lisa McClain (R- MI). “So migrant encounters have tripled yet the amount of border agents are reduced. Not a recipe for success.”
“Communities in my rural western New York district they’re already struggling,” said Rep. Nick Langworthy (R- NY). “They simply cannot afford this influx and the crime that comes with it.”
These two charts from the Office of Field Operations, which is the largest component of CBP who is responsible for border security including immigration, anti-smuggling, anti-terrorism and more. The chart shows the number of people who were denied entry into the U.S. Under Title 8 or expelled to the country of last transit or home country under Title 42. On the left is FY22 and the right is the current FY23 total. Comparing just the first couple of months to last fiscal years, it’s safe to say, numbers have skyrocketed in FY23.
According to statistics by CBP, looking at the northern border only, CBP seized only 14 pounds of fentanyl last year compared to 22 the year before. These stats show drugs like marijuana and khat, which is a type of plant, are the most commonly seized drug last year at the northern border.
Members are concerned dangerous drugs are slipping through our borders and causing chaos on communities.
“Where is the outrage,” asked Rep. Kelly. “Where is the outrage America?”
Rep. Bergman sent WZMQ 19 News this statement on the creation of the new caucus:
“Fentanyl is pouring into our country and costing thousands of American lives – and Congress must take action. The Biden Administration has failed to enforce our Nation’s immigration laws, resulting in unprecedented smuggling and illegal crossings not only on the Southern Border but also on our Nation’s Northern Border. For years, Congress has been reactionary as problems arise. This new caucus will help us address our Nation’s security and identify problems facing our law enforcement on our Northern Border.”
This caucus first step was to send the Secretary of Homeland Security a letter. The letter gave him stats about the northern border human and drug trafficking and encouraged him to take more action to prevent it. We reached out to DHS on this. A spokesperson with CBP sent us this statement: “There are approximately 2,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents on the northern border. The U.S. Border Patrol bases staffing allocations on operational requirements, shifting traffic patterns, and planned enhancements in technology and infrastructure. The modifications to manpower allocations for each sector are adjusted through attrition and new hires.”