- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 25, 2023

If President Biden is going to keep up with the migration crisis, he’s going to have to step up his game.

After nearly two years in office, Mr. Biden finally showed up last month on the southwestern U.S. border at El Paso, Texas, where he made the bold move of gazing across the Rio Grande, a crossing point where many migrants have lost their lives and U.S. personnel have risked theirs. 

While the gesture was appreciated, it was too little, too late. Much too late. The president’s January trip came in the wake of 718,000 illegal migrant crossings since the start of fiscal 2023, a sweeping number for a little over three months.

Many of the immigrants crossing into the U.S. are fleeing repressive countries such as Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Mr. Biden had hoped to tighten that valve by announcing the U.S. would grant asylum to 30,000 refugees each month from each country. But now Mr. Biden has a new problem. 

The Border Patrol is calling up volunteers to the northern border where the U.S. aligns with Canada.

In an email sent to Border Patrol sector chiefs, Border Patrol Assistant Chief Juan Garcia pleaded for assistance in the Swanton Sector, which covers parts of New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

“Due to the increased numbers, stations are task saturated with processing large groups, which has contributed to gotaway events, pedestrian and vehicle incursions,” Mr. Garcia wrote, adding that many of the border crossers are “Mexican migrants with no legal documents.” 

The email also revealed a shocking development reminiscent of the days of Davy Crockett.

“Due to the strain caused by this surge, USBP HQ is seeking volunteers from the Northern and Southern Border Sectors to temporarily detail additional personnel to [Swanton Sector] to increase detention and custody operations, transportation, and flight line security operations.”

Yes, volunteers. The most powerful nation ever on Earth is asking for volunteers to help defend its borders, and with good reason. The Swanton Sector has recently seen an 846% increase in illegal crossings at that sector compared with the last fiscal year.

Do not adjust your bifocals or change your contact lenses. An 846% increase.

Since the new fiscal year began just four months ago in October, there have reportedly been more than 1,513 crossings, compared with the 1,065 illegal border crossings in fiscal 2022. According to Border Patrol agents in that area, they have apprehended more unlawful border crossers this fiscal year than in the past two combined.

Last month, Border Patrol agents have also engaged in 367 apprehensions and encounters, totaling more than the past 12 Januarys combined, which was 344.

Help is needed to control the “strain caused by the surge” of “primarily Mexican migrants with no legal documents,” Mr. Garcia wrote in a memo that was later obtained by Fox News.

Government agents say the problem stems from a lack of screening protocols preventing Mexican nationals from taking flights to Canada so they can then walk across the northern U.S. border. 

While the Swanton Sector is largely rural, including mountains and swamps, many of its lakes and rivers freeze in winter, enabling travelers to cross the ice. This creates added risks for migrants trying to cross illegally into the United States amid freezing temperatures and unpredictable storms.

“Unfortunately, perilous weather has done nothing to deter this traffic. Don’t risk it!” Mr. Garcia tweeted as a warning to future border crossers.

The new northern front in the war against illegal immigration means America’s otherwise safest flank at the Canadian border is now being penetrated. Such a breach opens up concerning possibilities not only in terms of illegal migration flow, but potential terrorist actors who want a quicker route to New York City and Washington, D.C., which were both targeted in the Sept. 11 attacks.

While volunteers are certainly appreciated, Mr. Biden needs to get Mr. Garcia and the other honorable Border Patrol agents struggling to protect our borders some hired help — fast.

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