Amid a migrant surge, the Border Patrol is grappling with a significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants in custody. Internal data from the Daily Caller News Foundation reveals that more than 22,000 individuals were detained, while thousands of others were released.
Late on Tuesday, the Border Patrol reached 97 percent capacity nationwide, with numerous stations and sectors exceeding their holding space. This overwhelming situation prompted the release of 6,481 illegal immigrants into the interior of the country update on Monday, where they will await the adjudication of their immigration cases. This update comes after Border Patrol had approximately 20,000 migrants in custody as of November 29, according to earlier internal data.
Among the most impacted areas is Arizona’s Ajo station, where capacity was filled at a staggering 546 percent late on Tuesday. The Tucson sector has experienced a massive migrant surge, resulting in the shutdown of Border Patrol social media training and the closure of checkpoints and ports of entry.
To manage the influx of migrants crossing the border illegally, the Border Patrol has had to call in reinforcements from the coastal and northern borders. An internal agency message obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation reveals that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and air marshals are also assisting in addressing the situation.
The surge has taken a toll on the morale of Border Patrol agents. One agent expressed frustration, stating, “The last thread of morale we have is gone. I’d bolt if I didn’t have so many years of service. I love my job when I can track groups, being on the ATV unit, but this administration has killed that.” Another agent lamented the lack of national security, saying, “It’s extremely frustrating. Our national security is non-existent.”
In response to the crisis, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is working to address the surge and ensure the swift processing of migrants. A spokesperson for CBP emphasized their efforts, stating, “CBP continues to surge personnel and resources to our nation’s borders to take migrants into custody expeditiously.” They further mentioned that CBP is taking measures to counter “smuggling networks” and individuals aiming to exploit migrants.
CBP is implementing new law enforcement operations to hold transportation companies accountable for aiding smuggling organizations and nefarious actors in transporting migrants through northern Mexico and to the southwest border. The agency also emphasized its collaboration with local, state, federal, and international stakeholders to effectively address irregular migration patterns, adjusting their operational strategies as necessary.