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Feds Open Migrant Processing Center After Cutting Border Surveillance

Border Patrol officials in far west Texas announced the opening of an illegal immigrant processing center in response to the flood of crossings and apprehensions. The move comes as officials with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shut down an aerial surveillance program intended to interdict and deter such behavior.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Texas announced the opening of a Temporary Holding Facility near the CBP Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry. The facility is located about 40 miles east of El Paso, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas.

Officials stated the temporary holding facility was opened in response to the “upsurge in illegal border crossers along our Southwest border.” In contrasting statements, Watchdog reported that DHS officials attributed the shutdown of the Operation Phalanx aerial border surveillance program to a claim that border apprehensions were down.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted a response stating, “Obama is doing everything he can to open the border. January 20th can’t come soon enough.” He said the deployment of Texas National Guard troops and resources will remain, Breitbart Texas reported.

CBP officials have not yet explained the apparent conflicting actions between DHS and their agency.

At the opening of the new detention facility, El Paso Field Office Director Hector Mancha stated, “In addition to securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws, CBP is committed to treating all people in our facilities humanely. CBP’s officers and agents are rising to this challenge with professionalism while maintaining efficient border operations.”

The plant is designed as an “overflow facility” to support the processing of illegal immigrants, Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), and Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) detained at CBP ports of entry and Border Patrol stations in the El Paso Sector.

In the month of October, the first month of the new fiscal year, the El Paso Sector captured 1,481 FMUAs and 626 UACs, Breitbart Texas reported. The total number of apprehensions in the sector was reported to be 3,973. These numbers represent an increase in FMUA apprehensions of 457 percent over the same month the previous year. UAC apprehensions were up by 162 percent in the El Paso Sector.

Apprehensions of FMUAs across all sectors of the southwestern border with Mexico were up by 37 percent in October versus the prior month while UAC apprehensions along the border were up by 19 percent. Total apprehension increased by 17 percent despite the DHS claims that they shutdown Operation Phalanx because apprehensions were down.

CBP officials stated that migrants may be held in the temporary facility for up to 72 hours for processing. Officials reported the immigrants will be turned over to ICE Enforcement Removal Operations agents thereafter. However, that does not mean the aliens will be deported.

Breitbart Texas reported that DHS is releasing large numbers of Haitian immigrants following the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. The migrants were being released with “order to report later to immigration court.” The move follows previous pledges to deport the Haitians.

Haitian immigrant apprehensions, primarily in California, have increased over 600 percent during the most recent fiscal year, Breitbart Texas reported. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson ordered the resumption of removals of Haitian illegal immigrants.

The massive flood of illegal aliens crossing the southern border was tied, at least in part, to cartels using the lead up to the presidential election as a marketing tool, Breitbart Texas reported.

“The smugglers learned in 2014 that they could tie up Border Patrol agents as babysitters and keep us from our primary mission of stopping illegal border crossings and drug smuggling,” U.S. Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera told Breitbart Texas in his capacity as president of National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 in an interview on October 26. “When are we going to get back on the border?”

“In 2014, it was primarily the Rio Grande Valley Sector that saw the massive numbers of families and children,” Cabrera explained. “Now we are seeing increases in every sector–some as high as 200 percent.”

“Those who attempt to enter our country without authorization should know that, consistent with our laws and our values, we must and we will send you back,” DHS Secretary Johnson stated. “As difficult as circumstances may be in Central and South America and the Caribbean, our borders cannot be open to illegal migration.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

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