Sheriff Testimony: The Northern Border Crisis Is Also Getting Worse
Throughout history, a relatively small number of illegal aliens have made their way into the U.S. across our 5,525-mile border with Canada. Hence, most of the focus was on the Southwest border – because that is where the overwhelming majority of illegal border crossers entered or attempted to enter. However, due to the Biden administration’s open-borders policies, the crisis has increasingly spread to the northern border as well.
During the current border crisis, the number of illegal aliens encountered at the Canadian border, as well as their percentage of total nationwide encounters, has skyrocketed. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, 27,180 foreign nationals were encountered at the northern border (1.4 percent of nationwide encounters). In FY 2022, it had risen to 109,535 and 4 percent respectively, and in FY 2023 it again rose to 189,402, or 6 percent. In other words, between FY 2021 and 2023, U.S.-Canada border encounters have increased by an alarming 600 percent. And the trend appears to continue. In October, the first month of FY 2024, encounters at the northern border accounted for 5 percent of total nationwide encounters (15,399 out of 309,221).
A window into the situation at the local level was recently offered by Sheriff David Favro of Clinton County, New York, which is located on the U.S.-Canada border. On December 5, Sheriff Favro – who is a Democrat and has served his community as sheriff for over two decades – testified in front of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Technology on “protecting our preparedness.” He warned that “the border crisis has placed a significant strain on our small rural community” of approximately 80,000 residents.
Favro continued that “the influx of transient populations funneled through our region has not only raised concerns, but has led to a surge in emergency response calls. Staffing shortages which are exacerbated by nationwide challenges in hiring and retention hinder our ability to address safety needs promptly.” Moreover, “recent high-speed vehicle pursuits involving migrants have led to bodily injury and property damage.” These high-speed chases, known as “bailouts” by law enforcement, have caused problems at the southern border as well, so much so that some border communities have erected boulders to try and prevent crashes. Favro pointed out that the Border Patrol responsible for the northern border with Canada is woefully understaffed, allowing many illegal border crossers to simply sneak through as gotaways.
“The impact on our emergency management is evident,” the sheriff added, as “our 911 call centers are experiencing increased calls for services with language barriers that are now complicating responses and rescues.” Favro also raised the alarm against the rapid releasing of illegal aliens from his county’s jail and the accompanying inability to properly vet them or test them for infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis (migrants arriving in America often come from countries with TB rates between 10 and 100 times higher than the U.S.). Just how real the threat is was demonstrated by a recent high-profile case involved a Chinese national who crossed the northern border before setting up a bioweapons lab in the U.S.
In addition, Clinton County’s chief law enforcement officer emphasized the impact of illegal immigration on the shortage of housing. That problem has already been exacerbated by New York City’s efforts to relocate migrants there and to other communities throughout New York state (essentially an attempt by a sanctuary city to saddle non-sanctuary jurisdictions with its migrant crisis). That is why, Sheriff Favro argued, illegal migration in upstate New York “is not just a matter of law enforcement. It is a challenge that touches every aspect of our community.”
He was also clear about the obvious solution which could help stem the problem affecting his, and so many other communities throughout the nation: “it is crucial that Congress act now to secure the border and protect our communities.” The indispensability and urgency of such a common-sense policy becomes increasingly evident as the Border Crisis continues to worsen and affect more and more communities within the country, including those on the northern border.