Resources Needed to Keep Up with Increasing Amount of Immigrants
WESLACO – As more immigrants continue coming into the country, the need for resources continues increasing.
Border Patrol says that's impacting border security operations along our border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they are making their own decisions to address the increase in immigrants coming to the border.
They're frustrated with political paralysis and an inability to change the laws or send additional funding.
Wednesday, the CBP Commissioner, Kevin K. McAleenan, said they're redirecting 750 CBP officers from the ports of entry across the southern border, including the Rio Grande Valley, to help Border Patrol.
This will affect bridge wait times for pedestrians and vehicles in the valley.
The CBP officers will help Border Patrol process, transport and provide medical watch for the influx of immigrants.
At a press conference held Wednesday in the Valley, Border Patrol announced they will continue to release immigrants, because Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not have enough detention space.
Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Rodolfo Karisch said they are not closing checkpoints as is being done in El Paso.
They are, however, moving agents from their respective positions to help with processing.
Karisch said criminals use the time agents are tending to large groups turning themselves in to smuggle drugs and contraband through the border.
Karisch said they are concerned about the gaps they leave in the field when they move agents to help with processing.
"Right now, we're being inundated with the processing of family units," said Karisch. "That's taking us away from the other things that we should be doing. This impacts everything that we do out there, whether it's providing additional agents to the field, whether it's getting additional prosecutions, having to take resources away from intelligence specialized units to devote them to the border, so it has tremendous impact for us all the way around."
He added they are concerned about the rescue season coming up this summer.
Right now, they are releasing immigrants to shelters in McAllen and Brownsville – that can change.
If the shelters become overwhelmed, Karisch said they could release the groups to the streets.
Border Patrol is projecting the number of immigrants will double by this year's end in the Valley.
Many of those coming in through the ports of entry are no longer being sent to be federally prosecuted – another effect of this influx.
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