New Hampshire is Addressing the Northern Border Threat
And for good reason. As FAIR recently reported, 189,402 encounters were recorded at America’s northern border in FY 2023, an increase of 109,535 from the previous fiscal year. 487 of those crossings were by individuals on the FBI terror watch list. Of course, New Hampshire’s 58-mile northern border is a small section of the broader 5525-mile U.S./Canada dividing line, but it’s nonetheless penetrable, vulnerable, and a point of entry close to accessing major eastern seaboard population centers.
Responding to the threats, Governor Christopher T. Sununu, Attorney General John M. Formella, and New Hampshire Department of Safety Commissioner Robert L. Quinn recently announced “the establishment of the Northern Border Alliance Task Force composed of state, county, and local law enforcement officers. The Task Force will conduct patrols along the northern border to: reduce the instances of crimes and illicit activity; respond to all threats, all crimes, and all hazards; and collect, share, and act upon criminal intelligence. The Task Force will also cooperate, as needed, with federal law enforcement officers in the enforcement of federal criminal immigration laws.”
In so doing, New Hampshire Governor Sununu — like Texas Governor Greg Abbot — recognizes his state’s obligation to act in light of DHS Secretary Alexandro Mayorkas’ complete dereliction of duty and betrayal of the American people: “The Federal Government refuses to take action on our Northern Border. They cut funding, limited our resources, and have thrown their hands up. Without adequate federal support, the state is stepping up.”
New Hampshire is small – it ranks 42nd in population – but incurs $107.5 million in annual costs from an estimated 14,000 illegal aliens. As FAIR’s examination into small-state impact revealed, “states with less overall population actually experience a proportionally greater effect from migrant influxes because such states typically have fewer jobs available and condensed economies, making it harder to absorb newcomers.”
Likewise, small states may actually have a heightened risk for terrorism. The aforementioned FAIR report observed that when migrants from high-risk countries are admitted to the U.S. and settle in places like New York City, their activities are closely monitored. Big cities have voluminous federal law enforcement agencies attuned to signs of terrorist activity. As such, smaller states can be more attractive to terrorists given there are fewer law enforcement resources and scrutiny to worry about, thus allowing an opportunity to operate undetected.
Anything New Hampshire can do to curtail illegal entries will be helpful, not only to minimize threats but also to reduce costs. Unfortunately, Canada isn’t New Hampshire’s only border of concern. Both Massachusetts and Vermont have statewide sanctuary policies, while Maine’s asylum crisis is only worsening as Governor Janet Mills has proposed adding an additional 75,000 migrants over the next few years.
That said, at least New Hampshire isn’t buckling to peer pressure by their New England neighbors, perhaps mindful of the old adage, “It’s better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.”