U.S. News


US Border Agents Reassigned To Tackle 'Unprecedented' Border Crisis

U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates agents will have apprehended more than 100,000 migrants at the border in March alone.
Posted at 6:54 AM, Mar 28, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to redeploy as many as 750 of its officers to help patrol the U.S.-Mexico border.

Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters Wednesday that this shift of resources was made to address what he called "an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest Border."

McAleenan estimated that by the end of March border agents will have apprehended more than 100,000 migrants trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico just this month.

The last time the monthly number of arrests at the border rose above 90,000 was in 2008.

The high number of apprehensions is causing overcrowding issues at border patrol facilities, which altogether are only built to hold and process about 9,000 people at one time. On Tuesday, CNN reported there were more than 12,000 migrants in custody across the border.

Because there currently isn't enough bed space available at processing centers, border patrol agents have started directly releasing migrants into the U.S. following a minimal background check.

McAleenan said the 750 officers who are being redeployed to the border will be pulled from their normal duties at ports of entry. He noted these temporary reassignments will most likely result in longer wait times at those ports.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.