The U.S.-Canada border is the longest international border in the world at over 5,500 miles. The U.S.-Mexico border has some border walls and natural barriers but there is very little separating the U.S. from Canada and most of the northern border is unmanned and worse yet, unpatrolled.

Therefore, while there is such a focus on the illegal immigration problems at the southern border, it is not surprising that the number of illegal border crossings at the U.S. northern border is breaking records.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) statistics reported by The Center Square, 18,644 foreign nationals were caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally at the northern border in May, 2024 which was the highest number of apprehensions on record in the month of May.

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The highest number of illegal entries at the northern border ever have come while President Biden has been in office, according to the Center Square reporting.

Apprehensions along Northern Border According to CPB

  • Fiscal Year 2024 (Oct '23 - May '24) 99,000+ and on track to top 2023
  • Fiscal '23 apprehensions 147,666
  • Fiscal '22 apprehensions   92,737
  • Fiscal '21  apprehensions  24,985

CBP’s fiscal year begins October 1st.

These statistics don't include the so-called  “gotaways,” that CBP categorizes as those who illegally enter the country between ports of entry. CBP doesn't publicly report those numbers and they are usually provided by Border Patrol agents anonymously  to provide an estimate of the real number of illegal entries.

The majority of gotaways are single, military age men but may also include women and children who may have been smuggled, law enforcement says.

The estimates are gathered through surveillance images caught on trail cameras set up by Border Patrol, ranchers and private property owners and other sightings.

The busiest sector at the northern border includes all of Vermont, six upstate New York counties and three New Hampshire counties.

The sector spans about 300 miles of the border with Quebec and Ontario, east of the Great Lakes.

10,000 illegals from 83 countries were apprehended in that 300 mile sector since October.

The apprehensions have reached historic levels at the northern border between October of 2023 and the end of April '24.

Known or Suspected Terrorists Entering US Through Northern Border

More alarming, Border Patrol agents at the northern border are also apprehending the greatest number of known or suspected terrorists categorized as KST's.  199 including an Iranian as of June 2024, compared to 117 KST's apprehended at the southwest border, according to CPB.

“The northern border is under-resourced by far compared to the southwest border,” former Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan told The Center Square. “But at the same time, it still represents significant threats. Cartels are expanding their operations, flying people into Canada, which doesn’t require a visa, presenting an opportunity for terrorist watch-listed individuals to exploit. It’s much easier to get to Canada to come across.”

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