Six Indian, Romanian Citizens Found Dead in Attempt to Cross into US

Fri Mar 31 2023
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MONTREAL: Six people from two families, one of Romanian descent with Canadian passports and the other from India were found dead in a marsh near the Canada-US border after attempting to cross illegally into the United States.

Their bodies were discovered late on Thursday near a capsized boat belonging to a missing man from the Akwesasne Mohawk community, local deputy police chief Lee-Ann O’Brien told a news conference.

The individuals are believed to include five adults and one child under the age of three who were attempting illegal entry into the US from Canada.

A second infant whose passport was recovered from one of the bodies appears to also be missing, and police dive teams were continuing to search. The capsized boat was described as “very small” for poor weather conditions, including rain, sleet, and strong wind.

The Mohawk tribal territory straddles the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario and the US state of New York.

Two other people have been found dead near the border in recent months while trying to cross illegally into the United States from Canada.

Authorities are waiting on autopsy as well as toxicology test results to determine the cause of death.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his condolences to the families of the individuals who perished, saying that “our hearts go out to them, particularly given the young child that was among them.”

Increase in people crossing into US

There has been an increase in people passing through Akwesasne gaining entry into the US, with 48 crossings since the start of the year, according to O’Brien.

Once landing on the US side, they are typically picked up on shore and transported by vehicle into New York State.

During President Joe Biden’s visit to Ottawa last week, the two countries recently struck a deal on managing the growing issue of undocumented migration on their lengthy border.

The plan, which is similar to a crackdown on the much more heavily used US-Mexican border, has been criticized by migrants’ rights activists.

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