Woman charged with human smuggling at US-Canada border

Woman charged with human smuggling at US-Canada border

Woman charged with human smuggling at US-Canada border

The next day, Regina police said, they were asked to help search a house in the city.

Simultaneously on April 14, United States Border Patrol Grand Forks Sector arrested several subjects in relation to this investigation.

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New numbers released by Canada Border Services Agency show 170 asylum claimants were apprehended by RCMP entering Manitoba last month.

Mounties say a woman was stopped last Friday on the Canadian side of the border between the North Portal and Northgate crossings, the legal entry points into Saskatchewan from North Dakota.

The arrests are part of an ongoing joint four-month investigation by Canada and United States authorities into organised human smuggling.

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For the month of March, 644 people crossed the border into the province of Quebec-a 50 per cent increase from February, when 432 people crossed illegally into Quebec. Police declined to give any other information about the group, citing privacy concerns.

Entering the country at remote, unguarded locations allows migrants - many of whom are anxiously fleeing Donald Trump's crackdown on immigrants - to skirt a longstanding pact that bars most refugee claimants in the U.S. from applying for asylum in Canada.

Critics have blamed the Safe Third Country agreement between Canada and the USA for rise in border jumping.

"Unfortunately one of the effects of the Safe Third Country Agreement is to provide business opportunities for smugglers, who often take advantage of the need and desperation of refugees", said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

The CBSA says it has been investigating organized human smuggling in southeastern Saskatchewan since December 2016. This brings the total number of asylum seekers caught walking across the border to 1,860 so far this year.

At a news conference Wednesday, RCMP and CBSA wouldn't release details about the identities of the individuals seeking refugee status, citing privacy.

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