‘Informal’ network helping refuge seekers get to Manitoba, U.S. officials say


(CBC)   The rising number of people illegally crossing the U.S. border into Manitoba has not escaped the notice of the Department of Homeland Security.


Officials in the U.S. say that “informal” networks of family members and friends, rather than criminal profiteers, are helping refuge seekers get to the border.

“What we’ve seen hasn’t fit the profile of hardened criminals or organized crime types,” says Eric Kuhn, a U.S. border patrol officer in Pembina, N.D.



People get to the border in a variety of ways. For example, some take a bus into Grand Forks, N.D., and hire a cab.


One taxi driver told CBC News he gets requests “all the time” — often right at the Grand Forks bus depot — and has made several trips himself.


He charges up to $200 US per person for the approximately one-hour ride.



Others are driven in private vehicles from Minneapolis, which is about seven hours away.


Once they get to the border, Kuhn said refuge seekers use one of three main routes to cross over by foot.


Some use railroad tracks, while others hide in the treeline until they can get across, he said.


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