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HomeNewsResidents Reveal Details About Thriving Illegal Migrant Operations at the Northern US...

Residents Reveal Details About Thriving Illegal Migrant Operations at the Northern US Border

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Source: The New York Post

The serene town of Swanton, Vt., nestled just across Lake Champlain from New York, has recently found itself at the forefront of the United States’ northern illegal migrant crisis.

With a population of around 6,500, Swanton offers picturesque landscapes and dense woodlands—a haven for both hunters and, unfortunately, migrant smugglers. Chris Feeley, a longtime resident, recounts the transformation he has witnessed in his beloved woods.

“Now I’ve got the Border Patrol guys on speed dial,” he says, reflecting on the alarming surge in migrant activity. Feeley, an avid hunter, has had his peaceful outings disrupted by the sight of migrants traversing the woods, guided by their smartphones and backpacks.

Feeley’s experiences are not isolated incidents. Trail camera footage captures the steady stream of migrants crossing into the US from Canada, prompting locals to take matters into their own hands. With regular sightings of smugglers and migrants, residents have become amateur sleuths, reporting their observations to Border Patrol.

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The surge in migrant activity has prompted residents to adopt preventive measures. Feeley, for instance, now carries a pistol during his hunting expeditions—a precautionary measure suggested by border agents. Despite the tranquil façade of the region, residents find themselves on high alert, wary of the unfamiliar faces traversing their woods.

Further north in Alburgh, Vermont, Kaitlynn Pease, a volunteer firefighter, shares her observations of the clandestine activities near the Canadian border. “Getaway vehicles” lurk in parking lots, waiting to whisk away migrants who have just crossed the border. New Jersey and Massachusetts plates signal the arrival of these vehicles, blending seamlessly into the rural landscape.

Lawrence Rainville, a dairy farmer in Highgate Center, has also become accustomed to the nocturnal activities on his property. Armed with a night-vision riflescope and a phone connected to Border Patrol dispatch, Rainville assists agents in apprehending trespassing migrants, fostering a newfound collaboration between locals and law enforcement.

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Despite the efforts of vigilant residents and authorities, the recent influx of migrants continues to rise. With ports of entry often understaffed, migrants perceive the northern US border as a less fortified route compared to the southern border. The allure of a safer passage prompts many to undertake the journey northward, further straining local resources and communities.

Brow said she has “absolutely” seen a sharp recent increase in the number of migrants in the area, which she admits has frightened her. “I don’t go outside by myself much at night anymore. It’s just nerve-wracking. Maybe they’re good people, but you just don’t know their intentions,” she said.

According to CBP data, the number of migrants illegally entering the US at the northern border last year topped 12,200 — a 240% spike from 2022. Of those, some 70% of the illegal crossings occurred along the 295-mile Swanton Sector, including upstate New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

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ALSO READ: Indiana Governor Sends National Guard to Aid Texas at Southern Border 

Illegal crossings at the US southern border dwarf those figures, with 2.4 million migrant encounters recorded there in 2023, capping off the year with a new record of 276,000 encounters in December.

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