In case anyone’s forgotten in all the uproar over the Southwest U.S. border, we also have a Northern border that appears wide open to illegal immigration – albeit underutilized, compared with our Southwest one.
Customs and Border Protection reports it caught a group of Guatemalans illegally crossing the Northern border into Derby, Vermont last Saturday in what agents say was a human smuggling attempt.
The Swanton Border Patrol Sector Tactical Communications Center received a report shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday of possible cross-border illegal activity in Derby and dispatched Border Patrol agents from Newport Station to investigate. Newport Station agents observed a man and two women climb into a grey minivan bearing North Carolina license plates. They joined a driver and passenger already in the van.
Agents interviewed all five people to determine their citizenship and immigration status. [Miguel] Ramos, the driver, produced a New York state driver’s license and claimed to be a United States citizen. [Gerardo] Xar-Marroquin, the initial passenger, produced a Guatemalan passport, but did not possess a valid United States visitor’s visa. The man and two women did not show any immigration documents, but claimed to be Guatemalan citizens.
The agents placed all five under arrest and transported them to the Newport station for further investigation. Agents seized the van.
According to the report, agents arrested Miguel Ramos, 32, of the Bronx, N.Y., and Gerardo Xar-Marroquin, 27, a Guatemalan citizen claiming residence in North Carolina, and charged them with human smuggling.
CBP reports it caught 2,626 people unlawfully crossing the Northern U.S. border in FY2015. While that’s nearly insignificant when compared to the 331,333 aliens CBP caught crossing the Southwest border that same year – or the 369,522 they’ve caught so far in FY2016 – it still highlights the risk posed by thousands of miles of open border that can be exploited by those who seek to come to the United States unlawfully.