Granite State Democrats insist Gov. Chris Sununu’s focus on securing the northern border is a “fake issue” invented by Republicans for political purposes.

But at least one Democrat believes the northern border’s illegal crossings are a legitimate concern.

President Joe Biden.

As the left-leaning news outlet NHPR reported Thursday, “911 distress signs with location codes” commonly posted by the federal government along the U.S.-Mexico border are now appearing at the northern border. In particular, the Biden administration is posting them in the Swanton Sector, which includes New Hampshire, Vermont, and northeastern New York.

“At least one sign located in New Hampshire contains the word ‘help’ in both English and French, along with instructions to call 911 and a six-digit location code,” NHPR reported. They are designed to help illegal border crossers who become lost and face life-threatening danger from the elements.

911 help signs similar to this one at the U.S.-Mexico border are now being posted at the northern border.

Sununu has repeatedly pointed to the massive increase in illegal crossings in the Swanton Sector to make the case that more should be done to secure the border. Asked about the report that the aid signs are now appearing on the New Hampshire border, Sununu said they address the new reality.

“Try as some might, there’s no spinning the fact that perilous illegal crossings began to rise just as the Biden administration cut funding for northern border security. New Hampshire is taking action to end this humanitarian crisis,” Sununu said.

Data from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) show its officers arrested nearly 7,000 people illegally crossing the U.S. border in the Swanton Sector last year, including 1,100 in October alone. That’s a 1,900 percent increase since 2021.

And of the 736 “known or suspected terrorists” caught entering the country in fiscal 2023, 487 (66 percent) were caught on the U.S. northern border, not entering from the south. Another 89 have already been caught crossing the northern border in fiscal year 2024.

In response, Sununu has asked the Biden administration to restore millions in funding it stripped from New Hampshire via Operation Stone Garden.

Granite State Democrats have dismissed concerns about illegal immigration and the porous border as a “fake issue” invented by New Hampshire Republicans. New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley called GOP concerns about immigration enforcement “thinly veiled racism.”

Progressive groups like the ACLU-NH say Sununu’s stance is based on fiction because only a handful of the illegal immigrants crossing from Canada have been caught specifically crossing the New Hampshire border, as opposed to the Swanton Sector. Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, calls increased border enforcement a “dangerous policy… justified through fear-based rhetoric.”

“It’s time to stop funding the unnecessary and harmful expansion of policing and surveillance at New Hampshire’s northern border and instead focus on the real needs of the North Country, like housing, substance use treatment, and mental health resources,” Bissonnette said.

The fact that Biden’s border officials believe these signs are needed shows they believe the problem is real, says Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. And, she argues, they should blame their boss.

“The increase in illegal crossings along the northern border is due to the open invitation being extended by Joe Biden to illegal migrants around the world,” Vaughan told NHJournal. “It’s an indication of how wrong and problematic the Biden policies are because they entice unsuspecting migrants into a very dangerous undertaking.

“It’s understandable that the Border Patrol would see the need for these signs, but a more effective way to prevent these dangerous crossings would be to end the catch-and-release policies that draw the illegal migrants,” Vaughan added.

New Hampshire Democrats continue to avoid the illegal immigration issue, refusing to respond to questions about their support for sanctuary policies or if they believe deportations should be used to enforce immigration law.

But Biden’s decision to visit the Texas-Mexico border Thursday is widely viewed as a sign his campaign believes the border chaos is hurting his chances at re-election. However, Team Biden may have delivered a self-inflicted wound on the issue when the White House released a fact sheet accompanying his Texas trip that referred to illegal immigrants as “newcomers.”