Apprehensions of illegal immigrants in the Detroit sector of the U.S.-Canadian border has increased this fiscal year, and patrol agents there are dealing with depleted resources as the U.S. government has pinned its focus on the southern border to deal with the influx there, reports TV station WJFW.
The line between the U.S. and Canada is the world’s longest international border – more than 700 miles of it borders Michigan.
"Right now if you didn't have the epidemic with these human caravans at the southern border, [the northern border] may be more of a focal point," said Henry Laxdal, the patrol agent in charge of the U.S. Border Patrol station in Sault Ste. Marie.
Border patrol agents based in Sault St. Marie cover 420 miles of border, consisting of Lake Superior on the north and the St. Mary's River to the east.
Laxdal says just 60 agents are at his disposal.
According to WJFW, apprehensions on the northern border increased by about 42% from 2017 to 2018. Along the southern border, though, more people have been apprehended illegally crossing this fiscal year than in any year since 2009, according to Customs and Border Protection.
"I expect we will surpass 500,000 this weekend," Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost told a Senate panel on May 8. "Our apprehension numbers are off the charts compared to recent years."