The U.S.-Mexico border is a hotbed for controversy regarding illegal immigration, but immigration officials have become equally as worried with the Canadian border.
CBS New York reported Thursday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have expressed concerns about the amount of people trying to get into the U.S. through Canada as well as the amount of people and drug smuggling.
Border Control Division Chief Bradley Curtis spotted a horse that easily jumped a small fence that separates the Canadian border with upstate New York, and told the station that fence is the only thing separating the two countries for miles in parts of the state.
According to Border Patrol Operations Officer Brad Brandt, some spots can be a point of entry for potential terrorists. He said the agency’s main mission is to stop a terrorist.
“There are radicalized groups that are in Canada — that is a tremendous concern to us,” Curtis told the station.
Officials also said they have growing concerns about Canada’s open-door policy toward Syrian refugees.
“Up here we’re encountering people from every single country,” Curtis said. “They’re coming across on snowmobiles. They’re coming across on ATVs. Of course, we have 95 miles of water boundaries, so people come across on boat, canoes, anything you can think of.”
The area only has about 300 agents covering 300 miles, including an Indian reservation that has been an attractive route for smugglers. Curtis said they’ve asked to double their manpower, but have been “competing” with the Mexico border.
Agents told the station they seized more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana and millions of dollars in smuggled currency coming into the U.S.