Border Patrol officials recently released an internal memo requesting agents to volunteer to be redeployed to a northern border sector that has experienced an 846% spike in illegal migrant crossings since October.
According to a memo obtained by Fox News' Casey Stegall, Border Patrol leadership asked agents currently stationed in other northern sectors and at the southwest border to voluntarily relocate to the U.S.-Canada border's Swanton sector, which covers New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, to "increase detection and custody operations, transportation and flight line security operations."
The area is "experiencing an increase in illegal entries," primarily due to "Mexican migrants with no legal documents" attempting to enter the United States, Border Patrol Assistant Chief Juan E. Garcia's memo explained.
"Due to the increased numbers, stations are task saturated with processing large groups, which has contributed to gotaway events, pedestrian, and vehicle incursions," the memo stated.
While it is unclear when the internal memo was sent, officials requested that volunteers submit their applications by February 23 to prepare for redeployment to the Swanton sector from March 1 to April 1.
Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert N. Garcia stated that agents had seen an increase in families traveling with young children attempting to cross into the United States, even throughout the winter months.
"Illegal crossings of the Canada/U.S. border in sub-freezing temps continued last week, as #BorderPatrol Agents apprehended 115 subjects from 12 countries—mostly Mexican nationals," Garcia wrote on Twitter. "Unfortunately, perilous weather has done nothing to deter this traffic. Don't risk it!"
From October to January, the sector experienced an 846% increase in migrant encounters and apprehensions compared to the same period the previous year.
In January, Border Patrol agents encountered 367 migrants, more than the previous 12 Januarys combined. However, the average annual number of border encounters in the Swanton Sector over the past 12 years is only 28.
From October to January, there were a reported 55,736 total northern border encounters. During that same period, the southern border experienced 874,449 total encounters.
Former Yuma Sector Border Patrol Chief Chris Clem said the U.S.-Canada border is often overlooked because the southern border migrant crisis is "astronomical."
Clem explained that "electronic travel authorization allows [migrants], basically visa-free, to fly in from Mexico to Canada, which means now they have access to move about Canada freely. And then at that point, they're coming in."
He called for a "policy response" to the surge of migrants entering the country.
"We have to stand strong. We ought to stand firm with our partners. We need the administration to reach out to Canada, just like we need them to reach out to Mexico and hold them accountable to make sure both borders are secure," Clem added.
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