Protect the North: Biden Yanks Agents From Southern Border To Address Migrant Surge From Canada

A U.S. Border Patrol agent at the U.S.-Canada border / Getty Images
March 7, 2023

The Biden administration is moving at least two dozen Customs and Border Protection agents, including some stationed at the southern border, to New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont as illegal immigration surges at the northern border.

A rise in Mexican migrants entering the United States illegally after flying to Canada has led the agency to pull agents from areas "not experiencing an influx" to the three states, called the Swanton Sector, "due to migration fluctuations along the northern border," a CBP official told NBC News.

Swanton agents reported an 846 percent increase in migrant encounters between October and January compared with the same time period in 2021 and 2022. In January 2023, 367 migrants were apprehended, compared with only 24 in January 2022.

The migration surge at both borders comes as lawmakers accuse the Biden administration of withholding necessary resources to stem the flow of illegal immigration. Republicans last week called for the federal government to reimburse Texas for border enforcement.

"Texas has been forced by this administration to go it alone when it comes to securing our border," said Rep. Pat Fallon (R., Texas).

Mexican migrants at the northern border are less likely to be turned away under Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that allows agents to immediately expel immigrants, NBC News reported:

Mexicans, more than any other nationality, have been blocked at the southern border and prevented from asking for asylum since Title 42 COVID restrictions went into effect in March 2020. 

Those migrants who can afford the $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto and then cross the northern U.S. border are less likely to be turned back because of Title 42 than migrants at the southern border. On a per capita basis, the Border Patrol invokes Title 42 to block migrants from claiming asylum less frequently at the northern border than at the southern border.