Spike in Illegal Immigrant Arrests Force Border Patrol Agents to South Texas
The United States Border Patrol recently announced mass reassignments and post-academy deployments to the south Texas region of the U.S./Mexico border amid spikes in arrests. Though the action is considered long overdue, leading border security experts have praised the move.
Breitbart Texas’ Contributing Editor and author of the upcoming book, Border Insecurity, celebrated the move despite its poor timing.
“It's unfortunate that it took so long for DHS to realize that Border Patrol needed reinforcements in the Rio Grande Valley, but I'm very happy to see the agency taking a risk-based approach to resource allocation,” Longmire said.
Arguing that such tactics to focus manpower on active threats should become “the rule rather than the exception,” Longmire contends that such moves are “a big step in the direction of developing a comprehensive border security strategy that bases resource allocation on regional threats.”
According to the Associated Press, roughly 100 agents have been transferred from the California and Arizona campaigns to the Rio Grande Valley sector to alleviate demand for more personnel. According to the federal disclosure, recent graduates from agency training are likely to serve first tours as part of the south Texas effort as well.
Roughly 3,100 agents serve in south Texas—nearly a 1,000 fewer than seen in the Tucson sector. Despite the substantially reduced force level, Texas led the border efforts with 154,000 arrests in the previous fiscal year. The Rio Grande sector’s arrest rate spiked 54 percent compared to the year prior. Year-to-date, 300,000 pounds of marijuana have already been seized.
Despite the personnel reinforcements, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been forced into cost-cutting measures that could likely blunt the progress made by fresh border agents. Breitbart Texas recently reported that ICE officials announced a new policy in south Texas to release “low threat” illegal immigrants into the United States pending future immigration and deportation hearings.
Federal immigration agents report reduced or plateauing rates of illegal immigrant incarcerations in conjunction with the mass transfers of agents from California to Texas. A recent California law passed to block local law enforcement from notifying federal agents of incarcerated aliens with few exceptions may demand a reversal in border assignments in the near future, however.
Follow Logan Churchwell on Twitter @LCChurchwell