Border Jumpers Skipping Abby

Border jumpers skipping Abby
70 caught in three months, only five in our backyard

By Rafe Arnott
The Abbotsford Times (Canada), April 20, 2010

Abbotsford has one of the lowest incidents of cross-border jumping in the Lower Mainland, despite its proximity to Zero Avenue, the road hugging the U.S. – Canada border.

Of the 70 illegal immigrants captured by law enforcement between November 2009 and January 2010 that crossed over Zero Avenue, only five – or seven per cent of the total – were arrested within Abbotsford's borders.

Abbotsford Police Department's Const. Ian MacDonald said the low number is a reflection of the Fraser Valley's distance to Metro Vancouver. The closer one gets to the coast, the higher the number of border-jumping instances one sees, he said, with districts like Langley, Delta and Surrey recording progressively higher numbers of immigration-related arrests.

Statistics supplied by APD crime analysts show approximately half of those arrested are Hispanic in origin, followed by Caucasians and Aboriginals.

The most predominate mode of transport is by foot, with 75 per cent of those detained not having a vehicle.

MacDonald said the bulk of people coming across the border illegally are seeking legitimate agricultural work.

'They may be undocumented, but are essentially working for wage in the country as opposed to those working for criminal enterprise,' he said.

While two men of Hispanic origin were arrested recently for constructing a methamphetamine lab at a Bradner Road property, MacDonald said those busted with marijuana, heroin or cocaine are usually locals.

'People crossing the border with bags of drugs are predominantly Canadian and U.S. citizens, they're not from Central America,' he said.