DERBY LINE, Vt. (AP) — While the Trump administration fortifies the southern border, there’s growing concern over the number of foreigners entering the country illegally across the porous northern border with Canada.
People crossing the border between Vermont and Quebec have paid smugglers up to $4,000, usually payable when the immigrants reach their U.S. destination, according to officials and court documents.
While the number of arrests is tiny compared with the southern border, the human smuggling is just as sophisticated.
“They are very well organized. They have scouted the area. They have scouted us,” said U.S. Border Patrol Agent Richard Ross. “Basically, we are not dealing with the JV team; this is the varsity.”
Driving the increase here, officials say, is the ease of entry into Canada, where visas are no longer required for Mexicans, and a border that receives less scrutiny and resources than the southern border, where thousands fleeing violence in Central America are being detained.
Much of the illegal border crossing activity in Vermont appears to be focused on a 30-mile (50-kilometer) segment of the Vermont-Quebec border where Interstate 91 reaches the Canadian border at Derby Line, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Montreal.