Pictured is the International Railroad Bridge that connects Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York. Three individuals were caught by U.S. officials on the bridge trying to illegally enter the U.S. last Thursday. According to U.S. Border Patrol, agents have captured 24 non-citizens in the last 60 days trying to enter the country in the Buffalo area. Photo credit: Flickr/cmh2315fl
Late last week, U.S. Border Patrol apprehended three men who were illegally attempting to cross the border from Canada into the United States. The incident took place on the International Railroad Bridge in Fort Erie, where the men were secretly boarding a freight train.
“Through integrated operations, an aircrew from the U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) working with U.S. Border Patrol Agents in the Niagara River area noticed suspicious activity on the International Railroad Bridge,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated in a recent press release. “After a joint search effort, the U.S. Border Patrol Buffalo Sector agents identified subjects that matched a description provided by AMO. These collaborative efforts and subsequent field investigation confirmed these subjects had crossed illegally.”
Marc Sledge currently serves as Director, Air and Marine Operations, Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch. “Protecting our borders requires the whole of government approach, and close integration amongst all law enforcement partners,” he said.
Upon arrest, the three men were escorted to the Buffalo Border Patrol station, where they were processed and identified as Mexican nationals. Upon completing the required steps at the Patrol station, the individuals were sent back to Canada.
It’s not certain what happened to the three individuals upon their return, but other local media have reported that apparently no charges were laid.
Thomas A. Martin serves as the Chief Patrol Agent for the Buffalo Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol. “This is a great example of how our border patrol agents work tirelessly to protect the Western New York area,” he said. “Agents have apprehended 24 non-citizens in the last 60 days attempting to cross the vicinity into Buffalo, NY.”
Chief Martin also outlined the perils that those crossing the border illegally encounter. “This incident highlights one of the treacherous and dangerous pathways used to illegally enter the United States. Just recently, a family of non-citizen migrants, including an infant, traversed the International Railroad Bridge without regard for their safety.”
The Niagara Independent reached out to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for comment. The organization elected not to engage on the matter.
The publication, however, was able to speak to an official at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
“It is illegal and unsafe to cross the Canadian border without reporting at a port of entry,” shared RCMP Cpl. Kim Chamberland. “It is an offense under the Customs Act. Any person committing this offence will be arrested by law enforcement.”
“The RCMP continues to support their colleagues at the United States Border Patrol to respond to the incidents of southbound migration at the Canadian-U.S. border.”
In light of an influx of similar incidents at its northern border, the U.S. has asked Canada to reimpose visa requirements for Mexican nationals visiting the country. Such requirements were in effect for eight years under the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but were later removed by the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau in 2016.
Nick Redekop completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Labour Studies at Brock University. He has previously served in municipal and federal politics. In his free time, Nick enjoys following sports, taking part in outdoor activities, and reading biographies. Nick resides in Niagara Falls