Human smuggling to Canada from US increasing

The number of people caught being smuggled into Canada appears to be on the incline, according to newly released documents. Although it could simply be that Canadian border security agents are just increasingly competent at stopping such illegal pursuits.

According to a recent report, the number of people caught being smuggled into the country from the U.S. increased by 58 per cent between 2010 and 2011, while the number caught going in the other direction actually went down.

The report obtained by the Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act outlines an increase in the number of people caught being smuggled into Canada from the U.S.

Authorities caught 487 people being smuggled into Canada in 2011, up from 308 people the previous year.

Those caught being smuggled into the U.S. from Canada dropped from 376 to 360. The report indicates the Canadian increase can at least partially be credited to a “surge in human smuggling activity,” although stronger enforcement also played its part.

Since 2004, Canada and the U.S. have considered one another safe places for refugees, making it more difficult to legally secure refuge from one country in the other.

The report further says that much of the smuggling occurs between ports of entry – the large swaths of rock and nature that has been celebrated as the world’s longest unguarded border.

With officers controlling about 50 kilometres of the 6,400-kiometre border, honesty and trust still have roles to play in border security.

That makes for a beautiful story of international cooperation, but it also leaves Canada open to smugglers using ATVs, cross-country skis, helicopters and kayaks to slip people into the country.