WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Lawmakers say there should be a priority on keeping northern border communities safe from any dangers that could cross the border between Canada and the U.S.

“The northern border is wide open,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Penn.) said.

Some lawmakers are concerned about what they say is happening along the more than 5000 miles long border.

“It’s really a crisis and it’s tragic on a human level as well,” Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) said.

Tenney says illegal crossings and drug trafficking along the northern border are rising.

“There has been nearly an 850% increase in border crossings,” Tenney said.

Kelly says part of the problem is there aren’t enough agents to do the job.

“There’s just not enough men up there to do it. They’re just worn out,” Kelly said.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) blames the administration.

“Do we have operational control over the northern border,” she asked.”No we don’t and in fact, what happens is we conflate the issue. We conflate the ports of entry and between the ports of entry,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said.

Many Democrats agree with the need to increase the number of northern border agents.

“We need to make sure that they’re properly supported and that they’re properly compensated for the work that they do,” Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) said.

Higgins and Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) say while there are challenges, Republicans are exaggerating

“Would you use the word disorder to characterize what’s going on at the Canadian Border,” Correa asked.

“No sir, I would not,” Future Borders Coalition Executive Director Lura Dawson said.

They say the solution will come through close cooperation with Canada.