CBP forced to deploy more agents to southern border due to recent surge

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The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is deploying hundreds of northern and coastal Border Patrol agents to the southern border to help handle a surge in Latin American immigrants, Fox News has learned.

On March 1, 250 Border Patrol agents from northern and coastal areas — including the Canadian border and Florida — will deploy to McAllen, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley Sector to help with border apprehension along the southwest borders, multiple Department of Homeland Security sources familiar with the move told Fox News. The agents have been asked to stay through March 31.

In the Rio Grande Valley Sector, agents have apprehended nearly 1,000 migrants a day and warn that facilities are being overwhelmed.

The sources pointed especially to the surge of children arriving at the border alone.

“It’s definitely a migrant crisis,” one DHS source said. “If you put everything together, with the number of children that we have, COVID-19 and the lack of proper facilities for this type of special population, it’s definitely a migrant crisis.”

Apprehensions at the southwest border have spiked over the past few weeks from between 3,200 and 3,500 to over 4,000, according to former border official Mark Morgan. On some days there are close to 1,000 “got-aways,” or those who are spotted by agents but escape detention.

“It’s a full-blown crisis,” he told Fox News.

Morgan served as both acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and as acting commissioner of CBP during the Trump administration. He had served as head of the U.S. Border Patrol under the Obama administration.

“Then-Secretary [of DHS] Jeh Johnson under President Obama and Vice President Biden said 1,000 a day was a bad day,” Morgan said.

The U.S. made 78,000 border arrests and detentions in the month of January. Morgan predicted that the U.S. could see 100,000 southern border apprehensions by the month of April, on par with March and April of 2019 under former President Trump, who took a much stricter stance on border security.

Morgan said it was a “story within a story” that no one with Border Patrol could comment on the record about the deployment. He said that when he led CBP he directed everyone to engage the media and held regular press conferences to take such questions.

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