- United States Border Patrol agents and facilities have been overwhelmed by a surge in Central American migrant families arriving in the US and requesting asylum.
- We spent a day at the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas.
- US Border Patrol Agent Tessa Reyes escorted us to multiple areas where migrants cross the border to begin the process of requesting asylum.
- Per the Border Patrol, Business Insider was not allowed to film inside the processing center where immigrants are temporarily detained.
- During a visit to the Border Patrol’s training academy in Artesia, New Mexico, we sat down with Acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection John Sanders, who called the situation at the border “unprecedented.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Reyes: I always thought that the checkpoints were kind of untouchable, and the fact that we can’t afford to man these is just really just insane. It’s really just overwhelmed us. There’s far less agents that are on the line that are doing actual enforcement. Actually, we can go through here. Oh, here we got some guys. You had a group of 23, and then they took ’em, and this is what’s left?Border Patrol Agent: Yeah.Reyes: OK, 10-4. All right then, man, we just want to check to see if you’re OK.Border Patrol Agent: Yeah, I’m good. Just waiting for transport.Reyes: OK. As you can see, there’s mostly children. We have an infant. That’s another layer of the care that we have to go through. Diapers, formula, all that kind of stuff. They’re each gonna get medically screened and hopefully go through the process as soon as possible. This is one of the areas that they turn themselves in a lot to. Yo! What’s going on? He’s directing them to keep going that way ’cause we have another agent I guess over there.Flanagan: What’d they say?Reyes: These guys are from Honduras, or Guatemala, and then they’re from El Salvador.Flanagan: What’s going to happen to these folks?Reyes: Now these, they’re gonna be taken to processing, which is not very far. They enter through right here. It’s the end of the fence. There’s a break in the fence right here, and they can just walk up. And so there’s always an agent here. Two of them have a bit of a cough, so everyone’s going to need to be screened, and then we try as quickly as we can to process for asylum. And they get a bus out here, and they will take ’em to, to one of our processing centres, more than likely PDT, which is right here. This is a good area for them to come because processing is right here.Narrator: This is as close as we were able to get to the processing center. Border Patrol would not allow us to film inside.Sanders: At the end of last year, we had two children that died in our custody. And so I would say the No. 1 thing that keeps me up at night is to ensure that another child does not die in our custody. I have seen more compassion from the US Border Patrol, the men and women of the Border Patrol, than I have seen in any other job that I have had the privilege of occupying. It’s just the huge influx of people that are coming across. Very difficult for the Border Control to deal with.Narrator: The day after this interview was taped, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in a Texas hospital. After initially being detained by the Border Patrol, the boy was transferred to the custody of a government-contracted shelter before being sent to a hospital in Brownsville where he died due to what the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs described as a severe infection in the frontal lobe, becoming the third child since December 2018 to die after being detained.
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