Illegal Immigration Surged At Northern US Border With Help Of Americans
Authored by Allan Stein via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
One night this past winter, Lynne Lamon of Plattsburgh, New York, was driving up the U.S.-9 northbound by Canada’s border when she noticed three young men walking on the side of the road.
The men were dressed poorly for the subzero temperatures and wind chill from Lake Champlain. Their down vests were tattered and leaking feathers.
Lamon pulled over, rolled down the window, and told the men to get in and warm up.
Through broken English, she realized they were illegal immigrants from Ecuador who were on their way to the Canadian province of Quebec.
“They were happy to get a ride. I wasn’t afraid at all,” Lamon said. “They were young men that had wives and mothers at home.”
“They were so thankful. I turned on what you call an English-Spanish app on my phone so that we could talk. They were happy about that.”
Lamon drove the men to a local restaurant, bought them breakfast, and gave them water for the trip north.
The men said they wanted to go to the nearest U.S. port of entry, but Lamon said, ‘No. You will be taken in [by federal border officers] and brought back to Plattsburgh.”
“Why are they going to Canada? I don’t know,” Lamon said of the three men. “They didn’t have any relatives there. They walked forever, like three months. They had sneakers on that were frozen [to their] feet.”
Like many U.S. citizens, Lamon believes it’s a moral imperative to lend aid to illegal immigrants, despite the legal consequences.
“I’m an old hippie” at heart, she told The Epoch Times.
However, Federal Statute 8 U.S. Code Section 1324, makes it a crime to transport illegal immigrants in the United States.
“What this means is that if you give a ride to someone who is in the United States illegally, then you could be charged with transporting illegal aliens. Such a federal violation could lead to fines and up to five years imprisonment,” according to the law office of Abdel Jimenez based in Florida.
Regardless, there’s money to be made in transporting illegal immigrants.
Some American citizens will offer rides for hundreds of dollars, fueling a quiet passage along Canada’s 3,500-mile land border with the United States.
Some, like Lynne Lamon, do it out of kindness.
In Derby, Vermont, hotel employees Matt and George said they have seen people charge illegal immigrants as much as $500 for rides to metropolitan areas.
Sometimes, the families are so large that several vehicles are needed.
One local man told The Epoch Times he made $400 driving an individual from Derby to Boston.
Matt and George said illegal immigrants are a nuisance when they crowd into the small hotel lobby after being dropped off by Border Patrol.
Since Border Patrol “has to drop them off somewhere, they drop them off here–or at gas stations,” George said. “They bring their luggage—garbage bags. They have little kids; they don’t have car seats. They don’t have anything.”
“They don’t want a room. They’re looking for rides to Boston, New York, or Miami. Those are the biggest places they want to go,” Matt said.
While some do spend money on a hotel room, most illegal immigrants will loiter in the warm lobby for hours for a private ride.
Few choose to stay in Derby, Matt said.
“Most go to White River Junction [Vermont] to the Greyhound Station. We have no taxis here. So many locals will make a fortune off it because they will take them to places they want to go.”
Matt said he doesn’t see giving rides to illegal immigrants as “aiding and abetting” illegal immigration.
“They’re here legally now [whereas] Border Patrol before would arrest them,” George said. “They privately find a person and pay them to get to Greyhound or Amtrak—whatever.”
In fiscal year 2020, Border Patrol agents arrested 32,376 illegal immigrants along the U.S.-Canada border, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.
During the pandemic, border encounters plummeted to about 27,180 but surged again to 109,535 in fiscal 2022.
The two countries recently enacted an agreement to turn away asylum-seekers caught in illegal points of entry. A pre-existing agreement required that asylum-seekers must apply in the first country they arrive in, but was only applicable at official border-crossings, creating a loophole for migrants to cross at illegal points of entry from the United States into Canada to make asylum claims.
Read the rest here…
Sun, 04/02/2023 – 14:00