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Republicans seek tighter border security

By Randy Thoms Mar 9, 2023 | 11:56 PM

Beatrice Murch / CC

Republicans whose states border Canada are looking for tighter security.

They say drug smuggling and illegal crossings have dramatically risen along the northern border in the past two years.

Minnesota Rep. Pete Stauber adds staffing is a concern as well.

“This past year, already short-staffed CBP agents in Minnesota are being ordered to sit at their desks to help virtually process illegal immigrants at our Southern border, leaving more than 500 miles of border wide open in my state,” says Stauber. “The cartels know this and are beginning to market the northern border as an alternative.”

The representatives have formed a Northern Border Caucus to bring attention to the issues facing the northern border.

They say drug smuggling has increased by 596% since 2021.

The number of people trying to cross illegally or without proper documentation is up 1,498%.

Forty-eight per cent of the encounters in 2021 were Canadian citizens.

In the meantime, staffing levels have remained relatively flat since 2009.

“Many Americans are not aware that we have only about 2 000 border patrol agents assigned to the northern border. Given our 24/7 nature of work, this leaves us with only about 450 agents on duty at any one time. The agents must cover a 5500-mile land and water border that is well over twice the length of the border with Mexico,” says Brandon Budlong, Buffalo Sector President of the National Border Patrol Council.

Budlong says officers along the northern border also lack many of the resources available to their counterparts along the U.S./Mexico border.



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