The number of illegal border crossings between Canada and the United States has increased nearly tenfold over the past five months in the region between northeast states and Canada, local law enforcement officials say.
From October 1 to February 28, around 2,000 migrants illegally crossed the border between Canada and New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, south through forests, compared to just 200 crossings in the same period the previous year, according to NBC News.
The migrants are mainly from Mexico, and they can travel to Canada without visas before crossing illegally into the US.
Sheriff David Favro's department in Clinton County, New York, has had to assist the US Border Patrol in giving medical attention to a number of the migrants, with some suffering from frostbite or mild hypothermia, he told NBC.
"We are seeing more and more people, and it can be a deadly terrain if you’re not familiar with it," Favro said.
Favro has called for more resources from the US Border Patrol, who recently added 25 agents to the area to deter migration, but locals say that's not enough.
"The only way to really be able to cover and protect [the northern border] is boots on the ground," Favro said.
Mooers, New York Fire Chief Todd Gumlaw recently helped rescue two Mexican women who were stuck in an icy swamp in the middle of the night.
Gumlaw, along with Border Patrol, local police, and EMS workers, was able to provide first aid and get the women to a hospital.
The Mooers/Champlain region is made up of small blue-collar areas and farmlands, where "everyone knows everyone." Some locals told NBC that they have felt uneasy, having witnessed mass illegal migration in the region.
One Mooers resident April Barcomb said that she has had illegal aliens show up at her doorstep, and is now looking at installing security cameras.
"It’s not something I would usually do," she said. "But it makes me think twice. And with the kids and the family, I gotta install cameras."
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