- Border Patrol stations in south Texas have become so overcrowded that migrants are being flown to other parts of the border to be processed, anonymous officials told The Washington Post.
- The number of migrants crossing the border from Mexico has exceeded 5,500 per day for the last several days in a row.
- Each migrant flight costs $US16,000 and can transport 135 migrants.
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Border Patrol stations in south Texas have become so overcrowded in recent days that the government is flying to other parts fo the border to be processed, three anonymous Homeland Security officials told The Washington Post on Saturday.
For the last several days in a row, the amount of migrants caught crossing the border has surpassed 5,500, according to the report.
This has caused a strain especially in south Texas, where the bulk of these immigrants have been caught.
So on Friday, officials started moving some migrants to other parts of the border to be processed. The first flight left McAllen, Texas, transporting a group of detainees to border patrol facilities in Del Rio, Texas.
Daily flights are scheduled for the next several days, including two on Tuesday. Each flight costs $US16,000 and can move 135 detainees.
While officials said it was fairly routine for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to fly detainees to different detention facilities, it was unusual for Border Patrol to move migrants around for routine booking procedures.
“This is the worst I have ever seen it, by far,” one veteran Border Patrol agent in South Texas told the newspaper.
The number of migrants taken into custody at the US-Mexico border has surged in recent months. Customs and Border Protection officials said they detained 109,444 migrants at the border in April – the highest total since 2007.
Sixty per cent were families, which is what is exacerbating the situation. Border Patrol prioritises processing and releasing families first, which has caused their border facilities to fill up with single adults. The flights are mainly being used to transport these individuals.
At some point, if these detention facilities reach capacity, Border Patrol may be forced to release single adults, a situation Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost addressed while speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday.
Provost said that if they had to start releasing single adults, it would me that they would “lose control” of the border, since this demographic is the easiest to deport.
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