Easter weekend proved to be a busy one for border patrol agents in Swanton.
“We apprehend people from all around the world, the unusual part in this circumstance is it was a holiday weekend and we just happened to apprehend 20,” said Steven Cribby, Border Control Operations Officer and Public Affairs.
According to Customs and Border Protection it started March 30th, when nine people from Haiti were detained near West Service Road in Champlain, New York. On the Vermont side, seven people from Romania and one person from Germany were nabbed on Saturday in Newport. On Sunday, a Guatemalan was detained crossing the border on a bike near Franklin. Officials say later that day, two more people from Guatemala were arrested near Pittsburgh, New Hampshire.
Cribby said, “Our agents were out there working diligently to keep the border safe.”
Cribby has been with the agency for 15 years and said there has been little change, “Our focus is more intense, and we have got more agents in the border control overall and even in this sector.”
More than 300 Swanton sector agents patrol nearly 300 miles of the Canadian–US border. Cribby says border patrol agents focus on the areas in between the ports.
“The path of least resistance, so if you are talking about a road that goes up to the border, dead-ends at the border and starts again on the other side, those are areas people may tend to use,” said Cribby.
The arrests come after a series of tweets from President Donald Trump calling for stronger border security. On Tuesday, Trump floated the idea of posting military personnel along the US-Mexican border.
Trump said, “We have very bad laws for our border, we are going to be guarding our border with the military.”
In the meantime, Cribby and his colleagues continue their work in patrolling areas off the beaten path.
“We have to have somebody out here who is making sure that it’s not only people that try to come across illegally but they also try to smuggle drugs, both north and south,” said Cribby.
All of those apprehended were turned over to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal proceedings.