It’s easy to forget about the border between the United States and Canada. Illegal crossings are also happening in the north. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on Friday that they had recently apprehended a Canadian fugitive, who was also an Iranian national known to have terror ties. He attempted to enter the U.S. twice illegally.
NEW: An Iranian national with ties to terrorism crossed illegally into the U.S. from Canada near Niagra Falls & was arrested by Border Patrol. ICE just announced they have removed him back to Canada, where he is a permanent resident & “national security priority” who is wanted by…
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) December 29, 2023
Enforcement and Removal Operations in Buffalo reported that the man was wanted by Canadian authorities for assault charges and attempted to enter America at the Rainbow Bridge Pedestrian Walkway in October. If the location seems familiar, that’s because it was the same crossing where an infamous vehicle explosion (unrelated but tragic) occurred in November.
The man was denied entry that day, but two days later he attempted to enter the U.S. again at the Whirlpool Bridge Port of Entry. ERO Buffalo served the man a removal notice and removed him to Canada, where he was handed over to Canadian authorities on December 21, 2012.
ICE released a statement on Friday regarding the situation, which you can read in full below.
ERO Buffalo removes Iranian nationals from the national security priority list by using the Safe Third Country Agreement
Canadian authorities are looking for a fugitive accused of assault.
BUFFALO (N.Y.) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations, Buffalo, removed an Iranian national who was unlawfully in the country and had ties to terrorism on Dec. 21.
The Iranian national, who is a permanent resident in Canada and is a priority for national security, is sought by Canadian authorities over assault charges.
The fugitive tried to enter the United States by presenting himself at the Rainbow Bridge Pedestrian Walkway, Niagara Falls on 10 October. Customs and Border Protection officers denied him entry to the United States and sent him back to the Canada Border Services Agency on the same day. On Oct. 12, U.S. Border Patrol officers arrested him two days later as he illegally entered the United States without having been admitted or paroled to the United States by an immigration official.
ERO Buffalo issued an expedited removal to the man who was illegally present on Nov. 8. ERO Buffalo returned him to Canada on December 21 based on the Safe Third Country Agreement. He was then handed over to CBSA law enforcement authorities.
Thomas Brophy, Director of the ERO Buffalo Field Office, said that a strong law enforcement partnership with Canadian authorities was essential to increase national security and prevent dangerous individuals from escaping justice. The dedicated officers working together on both sides of the border to ensure public safety in our communities are responsible for the Canadian residents returning to Canada to be charged.
ERO removes individuals who do not have a legal basis for remaining in the United States. This includes removals ordered by immigration judges at the Executive Office for Immigration Review of the Justice Department. EOIR is a distinct entity from DHS or ICE. These courts have immigration judges who make decisions on the merits in each case. They determine if an individual is eligible for a final removal order or not.
Enforcement and Removal Operations is one of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s three operational divisions. It is responsible for domestic immigration enforcement. ERO is charged with protecting the homeland by arresting and removing those who threaten the safety and integrity of U.S. Immigration laws. Its primary focus areas are interior enforcement operations and management of detained and non-detained populations. ERO has more than 7,700 personnel, including law enforcement, non-law enforcement, and support staff, spread across 25 offices in the United States, 208 locations, and 30 overseas postings. It also has several temporary duty assignments at the border.
As of this writing, no additional information has been provided about the man’s reported terrorist ties or his identity. His detention does highlight the dangers associated with a porous boundary, whether it is to the north or south.