Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
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American border patrol agents stopping and boarding Canadian vessels: spokesman

American border patrol agents stopping and boarding Canadian vessels: spokesman

-Canada border on June 3, 2013 in Buffalo, New York. ". 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".

And last month, Canadians were astonished to learn that not only can American border agents seize their cellphones, but that the border patrol had established checkpoints throughout New England to stop foreigners.

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.

Machias Seal Island, which is about 19 kilometres southwest of Grand Manan Island and east of ME, is in a disputed area known as the Grey Zone, where lobster fishermen from both Canada and the United States have long fished side by side. Fishermen from both countries compete with each another in the lobster-rich waters. Laurence Cook, chairman for the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association, which is based in New Brunswick, Canada, said at least 10 boats had been stopped in a two week period in the area around Machias Seal Island. "Typical American bullies. Proud of Nick not surprised to see the Americans trying to push people around". "They claim to be looking for illegal immigrants pure bulls-t to be illegal they would have to be in sovereign waters and they know it". CBC added that the U.S. agency said it was not looking into any possible fishing or boating violations, which is the responsibility of the U.S. Coast Guard.

John Babcock, a Global Affairs Canada spokesman, said the government continues to investigate the incidents "in Canadian waters", partly by engaging with the American agencies involved. "Canada's sovereignty over the Machias Seal Island and the surrounding waters is long standing and has a strong foundation in global law".

The group wrote in a separate post Machias Seal Island and the surrounding area is Canadian territory.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the agents were just conducting "regular" patrol operations. The Border Patrol described the encounters in the Atlantic as "regular patrol operations to enforce immigration laws".


USA officials told CBC News the agents were there to "enforce immigration laws and other violations of federal law".

According to Cook, the Canadian fishing captain, Nick Brown, informed the U.S. vessel that "he was a Canadian vessel legally fishing in Canadian waters".

It was not immediately clear what happened during the stops, or how they compare to previous USBP activity in the area. "It's quite disturbing when you have fishermen on the water, doing their job, providing for their families ... and they're being harassed", he said.

The small island is a flat, treeless piece of rock, which includes a large colony of puffins and a lighthouse that is manned by two Canadian lightkeepers year-round.

Kelly has long argued that the two countries should come together to resolve the dispute, rather than allowing it to fester and flare up now and again.

Those types of agreements were brokered long before President Donald Trump took office, but Gilbert said that due to his administration's aggressive border-security policies (not to mention the ongoing trade war between Canada and the US), Canadians are beginning to regret giving the US so much authority. "If we had a single boundary line and weren't intermingling, it would be a lot simpler", he said.

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