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Surge of Migrants at Northern Border a 'Threat to Homeland Security,' as Cartels Exploit Strained DHS Resources

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The U.S. northern border is experiencing a surge in migrants. With resources strained, states along the U.S. border with Canada are now demanding more federal assistance or permission to defend the border themselves.

"New Hampshire's not waiting for the crisis to cause further impact to our state," said Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Safety Robert Quinn during a recent House Homeland Security Committee hearing. 

Quinn told lawmakers his state's troopers are ready and able to step in to help support border security. 

"From our perspective, it's critical that Homeland Security delegate its authority to our state police to detain and apprehend those who are crossing the border illegally into our state," Quinn said. 

slider img 2To date, the Biden administration has rejected the states' requests. 

New Hampshire is part of the Swanton Sector of the northern border, which also includes parts of Vermont and New York. That sector alone has experienced a nearly 850 percent increase in migrant crossings over the last year, and many of its border patrol agents have been diverted to the South.

"There are now fewer than 2,000 border control agents to cover the 3,145-mile land border, more than twice the size of the Southwest border in terms of geography," U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) pointed out. 

Homeland Security experts say much of the movement at the northern border is being driven by Mexican cartels and other criminal organizations. 

"If the northern border is now being exploited by these cartels, and by international players like China, they're the largest exporter of Fentanyl into our country. They use the cartels as well. Then we have a big big problem," said Dr. Donell Harvin, former chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the District of Columbia. 

Harvin said an unsecured northern border also makes the U.S. susceptible to terrorism. 

"It's historically been a concern, particularly with Islamic terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda coming from the Southern border. If that becomes a reality or even a possibility at the northern border, we have things other than human trafficking and drug trafficking to worry about. But we have terrorists coming to the border that that we're not aware of," Harvin told CBN News. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it's assigned an additional 25 agents to the northern border to help with the current surge. A majority of the agency's resources are still tied up in the South. 

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About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT