New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu requested that the Department of Homeland Security allow state officials to help secure the northern border this week, writing to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that local authorities are paralyzed by the federal government’s refusal to accept help.
Sununu’s letter comes amid a spike in illegal crossings along the northern border, including New Hampshire’s 51-mile border with Canada.
Customs and Border Protection reported 13,127 encounters with migrants across the entire northern border in January, almost double the number of encounters in January 2022 and 13 times the number in January 2021.
The Swanton sector, which includes parts of New Hampshire, Vermont and New York, saw 367 migrant encounters in January, dwarfing the 24 migrants encountered in January 2022.
FILE PHOTO: A Border Patrol officer walks to his vehicle on patrol along the Canadian border near the border crossing in Pittsburg, New Hampshire. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
New Hampshire officials formally requested on Feb. 17 that DHS allows state authorities to “enforce certain specific federal immigration laws in a manner appropriately tailored to New Hampshire’s unique circumstances.” That offer was rejected because DHS stopped new delegation agreements, Sununu said.
“The Biden administration has cut funding and hindered the state’s ability to help patrol the northern border,” Sununu wrote in the letter to Mayorkas on Monday. “If the Biden administration truly believes securing the border is a priority, I hope you work with the state of New Hampshire to make it happen.”
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New Hampshire’s border with Canada, which consists of rugged terrain with limited access to emergency medical services, makes it an especially dangerous area for migrants to attempt to traverse.
A Mexican migrant died last month after entering Vermont from Canada in the Swanton sector.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Mike Clark speaks on his radio as he checks suspicious tracks along the Canadian border near Pittsburg, New Hampshire. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The agency announced earlier this month that 25 additional Border Police officers would be assigned to the northern border amid the spike in border crossings.
Sununu, meanwhile, called for $1.4 million in its latest budget proposal to create a Border Alliance program, which would establish a task force to crack down on illegal immigration.
Paul Best is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital and Fox Business. Story tips and ideas can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @KincaidBest.