Three Busy Days at NY Border During Inauguration Weekend
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Buffalo Field Office is the busiest field office on the northern border. With 16 land border ports of entry it covers all of New York State except New York City.
Thursday thru Saturday saw an increase in traffic at ports in the Buffalo Field Office.
“We were very busy this weekend,” said Acting Port Director Steve Bronson from the Port of Champlain. “We saw a 20 percent increase in traffic the last three days versus the same weekend last year. A lot of travelers were heading to the Inauguration and Woman’s March in Washington DC.”
The Buffalo Field Office saw an increase in traffic with many travelers stating they were attending weekend events in DC. CBP officers throughout the Buffalo Field Office processed approximately 41,000 vehicles, a 14 percent increase compared to the same time frame last year, inspected over 100,000 passengers, over 145 buses and made approximately 18 seizures/arrests and refused just over 95 travelers.
“Of the 95 refusals, only 8 of those were foreign nationals traveling to attend events in Washington DC. Overall refusals accounted for less than 1 percent of travelers processed,” said Chief CBP Officer and Public Affairs Liaison Aaron Bowker. “There are a multitude of factors taken into account when it comes to refusals. Our officer’s primary job is protecting the country and the people in it. When a refusal decision is made, it is not taken lightly and multiple managers review each case individually.”
In addition to the increase in traffic, officers in the Port of Buffalo rendered urgent medical assistance to a traveler who began having seizures in the port’s parking area. Together with local Emergency Services, the man was stabilized and brought to the hospital.
At the Port of Champlain, officers discovered and seized drug paraphernalia and over 300 pairs of pants due to excessive levels of lead. Officers also arrested an individual for credit card fraud.
In Alexandria Bay, officers assisted an elderly individual who suffered from dementia, became lost and was encountered at the border. Officers recognized the confusion the individual was displaying, worked to contact immediate family who traveled to the port to assist their family member with their return home.
“Our officers face difficult decisions every day,” said Director Rose Hilmey. “Their vigilance and professional treatment of all travelers crossing the border is remarkable. This was a very busy weekend across the field office and we are proud of the work our officers do to keep our country safe.”