Before my grandparents, my aunt and my father made their way from Europe to the United States, in the 1940's and 1950's, they first needed someone in the states to vouch for them. Once they arrived at Ellis Island they followed protocol before they would become U.S. citizens.

Many of these procedures are still in place but not everyone follows the process. Earlier this week the hopes of several literally sank in an Upstate New York river.

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According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department got word that a suspicious boat had been spotted leaving the Cornwall, Ontario area and heading toward the United States on the Saint Regis River.

Once first responders were on the scene they witnessed a boat containing 7 individuals. The first priority of the team was to rescue the passengers as their vessel was now taking on water and sinking quickly.

With a sinking boat and a water temperature around freezing, time was of the essence. One passenger swam to shore while the remaining 6 were rescued by Border Patrol. All 7 were treated for hypothermia. Once it was determined that they were in good condition all 7 were arrested.

The 7 sailors were between 19 years-of-age and 21 years-of-age. Each of them are citizens of India. The charges were the same for most of the passengers but not all. 6 of the individuals were charges with Improper Entry by An Alien. The remaining passenger was charged with Alien Smuggling which is a felony and could receive 10 years in prison for each violation.

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