Border Patrol agents in Democrat-run Washington state saw a 575% increase in seizures of smuggling vehicles used to transport illegal migrants amid surges in crossings at both the U.S. border with Canada and with Mexico, according to internal Border Patrol documents obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Border Patrol agents working at Blaine station in Washington have seized 27 vehicles so far in fiscal year 2023, which is up from four in all of fiscal year 2022, according to the document. The vehicles are largely used by human smugglers transporting migrants mostly from Mexico, India and China, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, told the DCNF. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: US Authorities On Alert After Discovering New Chinese Migrant Smuggling Route)
The Blaine sector as a whole has seen a surge in illegal immigration, with Border agents recording more than 900 encounters between October and June, compared to roughly 400 in all of fiscal year 2022, according to federal data.
“Blaine Sector has not been immune to the recent surge of illegal immigration that has been occurring throughout the country, largely due to the failed immigration policy of the current administration. It is no surprise that with such an increase in smuggling attempts, there is a corresponding increase in vehicle seizures,” Jason Allen, president of the National Border Patrol Council’s chapter in the Blaine, Spokane and Havre sectors, which encompass areas of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Montana, told the DCNF.
Blaine lacks barriers or fences to prevent illegal crossings, a former agent in the sector, who requested anonymity due to the nature of their current work, told the DCNF. Additionally, a lack of agents and outdated technology are also hindering the agency’s capabilities to patrol the area.
“Even though deployments have gone way down, we are still required to provide virtual support to the Southern Borders to assist with their processing. Every shift, every station. Taking manpower away from the line,” the former agent said.
“Terrain wise, it ranges from beaches all the way up to mountainous regions, same as the Southern Border. With cities, and their publicly available areas, built close to the border for illegal aliens to blend in with pretty quickly,” the former agent added.
Border agents working at the station arrested 10 drivers of smuggling vehicles in July alone, according to one of the documents. In total, Border Patrol at the station made 103 apprehensions of illegal migrants, mainly from Mexico, India and China.
“A lot of the load drivers turn out to be legal permanent residents, asylees or just straight up illegal [aliens] that have been living here for awhile,” the official said.
Border Patrol has recorded more than 6,400 migrant encounters at the northern border between October 2022 and June, up from roughly 1,200 in all of fiscal year 2022, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.
“Cartels are sophisticated organizations that are constantly attempting to exploit any vulnerability, whether that is on the northern or southern border,” Allen said.
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