U.S. border agents are now boarding Canadian fishing boats looking for immigrants

U.S. border agents are now boarding Canadian fishing boats looking for immigrants

U.S. border agents are now boarding Canadian fishing boats looking for immigrants

The Canadian government is now investigating reports that say two fishing vessels of the country were approached by the U.S. Border Patrol and the fishing vessels' crew were questioned in Canadian waters, according to CBC News.

Spokesman John Babcock said the Canadian government is also talking with US agencies, though he did not provide details about the fishermen's allegations or Ottawa's response.

On Wednesday, New Brunswick Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet told the National Post that he has heard multiple reports of armed U.S. Border Patrol agents boarding lobster boats to look for immigrants.

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. The actions have alarmed civil liberties groups already concerned with Border Patrol activities.

Ties between Canada and the United States have been strained since President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, citing USA national security, with Trump calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "very dishonest" and "weak" after a spat at the G7 meeting in Quebec last month.

"Canadian fishermen are being harassed by US Border Patrol".

"If the Canadians want to use the term harass, they have been harassing us for years", Drouin said.

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

"There is no threat, there's no indication of any movement of humanity from New Brunswick or Nova Scotia through the Bay of Fundy to the United States", said Lee Cohen, an immigration and refugee lawyer who has practised in Halifax for more than 30 years.

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

Laurence Cook, a spokesman for a Canadian fishermen's association, told Canadian media that at least 10 vessels were intercepted in the last two weeks alone near the Manchias Seal Island, just off the coast of ME and the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

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"There's been a bit of a misunderstanding there somewhere", Cook told the newspaper.

In a statement, the Association believes this was part of a regular exercise conducted by officials.

The Canadian lighthouse on Machias Seal Island, which is located about 12 miles off the coast of Cutler, is seen in this undated photo. Any vessel operator that does not slow down and stop when ordered by Border Patrol agents can be criminally charged, Malin said.

On its website, CPB describes its Air and Marine Operations as conducting its mission "at and beyond the border", though the waters in which which these Canadian vessels are stopped have been contested for decades.

"Until the matter of the boundary is resolved, we will continue to take practical steps with the United States to ensure that the area is well managed", Babcock said.

Border Patrol does not board Canadian vessels without consent or probable cause and only conducts interviews as a vessel runs parallel to it, bow to stern, she added.

Drouin, a member of Maine's lobster advisory council, said he witnessed three other vessels that were also stopped and questioned, and has seen several Border Patrol vessels in the area over the last month.

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