Dead body of illegal immigrant found after falling off freight train near US-Canada border in Washington state

By Ari Hoffman – The Post Millennial

Dead body of illegal immigrant found after falling off freight train near US-Canada border in Washington state

Authorities are investigating after the body of an illegal immigrant was found near the US-Canada border in a case with suspected ties to human smuggling. According to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), on June 20, the lifeless body of an adult male was discovered close to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks in Ferndale, WA.

The investigation, led by HSI, the US Border Patrol (USBP), and Customs and Border Protection, is investigating connections to an illegal human smuggling operation. Illegal immigrants regularly use the undercarriage of trains or coal cars to get into the US.

Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest, believes that the victim was thrown from a train or jumped. He said in a statement, “The death in Ferndale is a tragic reminder of the dangers associated with human smuggling. These illicit activities not only jeopardize the lives of those being smuggled but also pose significant risks to our communities.”

Rosario Vasquez, Chief Patrol Agent for the USBP’s Blaine Sector said, “This avoidable death highlights the complete disregard that transnational smuggling organizations have for human life as they prioritize profit above anything else. We will continue to work with all our partners to safeguard America and bring to justice those violating our laws.” According to HIS, there has been a spike in human smuggling attempts along the train line from Vancouver, British Columbia, into northern Washington State.

Illegal border crossings from Canada into Washington state are on pace to shatter records. The area has been understaffed by Border Patrol agents as resources are allocated to the Southern border with Mexico. Crossings via the Northern border into Blaine are on pace to surpass last year’s record of encounters with undocumented men, women, and children. There were 25,781 encounters with illegal immigrants on the northern border in Washington state through the end of May. There were 29,716 encounters for all of 2023. CBP recorded 12,437 encounters in 2022 on the northern border in Washington, and 4,638 in 2021, according to CBP.

The number of crossings is even higher in parts of New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Overall, the US northern border saw a 550 percent increase in illegal immigrant crossings in the 2023 fiscal year. In 2023, the US Attorney’s Office in Seattle filed charges in multiple human smuggling cases, including a recent case where illegal immigrants were locked into a rail freight car in Canada and later rescued in the US.

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