Homeland Security Investigations speak on the issues they face on the northern border

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 10:43 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - This week, news broke out about the death of four Indian nationals on the Canadian side of the border, which resulted in the arrest of Florida’s 47-year-old Steven Shand for human smuggling.

“Certainly those involving human smuggling and human trafficking are top priorities for this agency.” said Tonya Price, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations. “Human smuggling does require the crossing of an international border. Whereas, human trafficking is really separated out from a labor trafficking incident or a sex trafficking incident. Either labor or sex trafficking would require force, threats of force, fraud or coercion.”

While the southern border receives a lot of attention for illegal crossings, Price says that northern border has its share of problems as well.

“And you are absolutely correct that there is a higher prevalent rate of it happening across the southern border from Mexico into the United States,” said Price. “But unfortunately, we are seeing some of the border crossings in the northern border as well. It’s really about opportunity and it’s at the direction of the smugglers.”

At over 5,500 miles, the northern border is a lot of ground for Price and her colleagues to cover.

“So we work as a concerted team across the entire northern border to understand what might the new smuggling routes look like, we utilize different law enforcement techniques to be able to identify those routes.” said Price.

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