Front Burner

Inside a human smuggling network in Canada

Today on Front Burner, smuggling networks operating in Canada are selling migrants empty promises of easy entry to the U.S. through a thickly forested stretch of the border around Quebec and New York state.
At the pickup point across from the Dufferin transit station in Toronto, Jesus pulls up driving a white SUV. A man with two duffel bags gets in. (Albert Leung/CBC)

This year, the number of Central and South American migrants trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border reached a record two million people. 

Whether people wade through the Rio Grande or trek across the desert for days, the trip is becoming more treacherous. Nearly 750 people have died trying to cross the border this year so far. 

Now, some are trying a different route through Canada. 

A CBC investigation found smuggling networks operating in Toronto and Montreal are priming the flow of people through a region called the Swanton Sector, and making thousands of dollars per run across the border.

Today, investigative journalist Jorge Barrera takes us through what his reporting uncovered.

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