6 Migrants Rescued From Sinking Boat After Failed Attempt To Enter U.S. From Canada – National

Six Indian nationals who tried to enter the United States illegally and could not swim were rescued from a sinking boat in upstate New York, according to federal court documents.

A seventh person, a US citizen who washed ashore under his own power from the sinking ship, was charged with human smuggling and is being held pending trial.

The rescue occurred on April 28 in Hogansburg, New York, near the Canadian border, after an off-duty police officer from Cornwall, Ontario, saw a boat with several people crossing from Canada into the United States, according to federal court documents.

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Officers from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department responded and saw the vessel capsize in the St. Regis River about 30 yards (27 meters) from shore and about 800 feet (244 meters) from the international border with Canada. .

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While the numbers are low compared to the US border with Mexico, organized human smuggling between Canada and the United States is relatively common.

Last winter, four Indian immigrants died in Canada, not far from the North Dakota border, while trying to enter the United States illegally. A Florida man is due to stand trial this summer in federal court in Minnesota on a human smuggling charge related to the case.

Last month, Border Patrol agents made arrests at two separate human smuggling events in North Troy, Vermont. Also last month, Border Patrol stopped a car in Caswell, Maine, carrying five Romanian citizens.

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, many people who cross the border illegally from Canada have been returned to that country under Title 42, a public health measure.

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In the upstate New York case, Saint Regis police asked the Border Patrol and the Hogansburg-Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department for help, officials said.

The boat was almost completely submerged when firefighters arrived, officials said. The fire department deployed a boat to rescue the six remaining on board.

One of the Indian immigrants detained in New York told Border Patrol agents that he flew to Canada on April 21 before attempting to enter the United States by crossing the river.

The smuggler allegedly asked the migrants if they knew how to swim. All six people responded “no swimming,” according to court documents.

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One of the migrants told the agents in what is described as an “excited expression”: “I arrived in Canada, an agent let me get on a boat, a boat sank, we were going to die, the police saved us.”

Because the water temperature was just above freezing, all seven people were treated for hypothermia, officials said. There were no life jackets or other safety equipment on the boat, they said.

The six immigrants were citizens of India between the ages of 19 and 21, CPB said. They were arrested and charged with trespassing.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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