Border Patrol operations in Down East Maine alarm Canadian fishermen

US Border Patrol Agents Have Been Illegally Invading Canadian Waters featured image

"Pure bullshit, to be illegal they would have to be in sovereign waters and they know it".

Cook said the incident took place on June 24 near Machias Seal Island, a tiny and rocky outcrop a dozen miles (kilometers) south of Grand Manan with rich lobster grounds, and whose sovereignty is disputed by Washington, although the Canadian Coast Guard maintains a lighthouse there. Machias Seal Island lies between a grey area in the Canadian and American border which the United States of America has recently begun monitoring more closely.

In a statement provided to the National Post, U.S. Border Patrol said its employees were properly enforcing immigration law.

"But it strikes me as a silly idea and a concerning expression of aggression by American border officials pushing into Canadian jurisdiction". When the Trump administration recently announced tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded that tariffs marked a negative "turning point" in U.S./Canadian relations.

Laurence Cook, chairman of the fishermen's association, wrote on Facebook that the fisherman, Nick Brown, informed US Border Patrol Agents he was in a Canadian vessel legally fishing in Canadian waters.

"Absolutely overkill", he said of the "disturbing" stops.

Lawrence Book, chair of the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association, said the agents were looking for migrants without the required documentation to enter the United States.

A little-known cross-border dispute that has simmered between Canada and the United States since the late 1700s is now approaching the boiling point.

Researchers from the university and Canadian Wildlife Services come to study the Atlantic Puffin, which heavily inhabits Machias Seal Island.

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In a written statement, the fisherman's association said American and Canadian fishermen have jointly fished the 102-square mile area for years.

At least 10 Canadian fishing boats from New Brunswick have been intercepted in the past two weeks off the coast of ME by U.S. Border Patrol agents looking for undocumented immigrants, The Canadian Press reported Wednesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection described the island area as a "Grey Zone" on Thursday, while Canadian authorities said Canada's title to the area is clear.

US Customs and Border Protection confirmed that they've stopped 21 Canadian vessels off the coast of ME this year, but made no immigration arrests. ". Border Patrol does not board Canadian Vessels in the Grey Zone without consent or probable cause and only conduct interviews as a vessel runs parallel to it, bow to stern". The group said it's their understanding that the recent stops are part of a "regular exercise being conducted along the US marine border", and said it looked forward to continuing a "respectful and cordial relationship" with its USA counterparts.

There is a tiny island located on the coast of the Canadian province New Brunswick and American state ME that adding to the dispute. So far, 21 Canadian vessels have been interviewed by local agents in the 2018 fiscal year, she said, with zero immigration arrests made. Resolving the dispute doesn't necessarily mean ceding the waters and island to one nation or the other, said Kelly.

Global Affairs Canada distributed a brief email saying it is investigating "incidents that occurred in Canadian waters".

U.S. Border Patrol has ramped up enforcement along Maine's maritime border with Canada, in an operation that alarmed Canadian fishermen and surprised Americans.

"Canada's sovereignty over the area is long-standing and has a strong foundation in worldwide law", the post said.

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