U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials announced the opening of an additional holding facility in south Texas to deal with the massive surge of illegal immigrants continuing to flood across the Mexican border.
The facility will provide additional space for holding approximately 500 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and Family Unit Aliens (FMUA). The new plant will be adjacent to the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge in Donna, Texas, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from CBP officials.
Earlier this month, Breitbart Texas reported that CBP officials were moving 150 Border Patrol agents from the Tucson, San Diego, and Del Rio Sectors to the Rio Grande Valley sector to aid in processing the additional illegal aliens.
“Illicit networks facilitate the majority of cross-border activity and smugglers prey on migrants by extorting money, confining them in deplorable conditions, and often physically and sexually assaulting them,” Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Marlene Castro wrote in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas on November 12. “Despite these risks, migrants continue to entrust their lives each day to these unscrupulous criminals.”
The new facility will hold the women and children temporarily as they are being processed for transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal or detention, or to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for relocation elsewhere in the United States, officials stated.
The number of illegal immigrants, UACs and FMUAs apprehended crossing the border has increased nearly every month since February. In October alone, FMUA apprehensions increased 37 percent, Breitbart Texas reported. During that same period, UAC apprehensions were up by 19 percent and total apprehensions were up by 17 percent. Well over half of the UAC and FMUA were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
HHS officials announced this week that they are overwhelmed with the flood of immigrant children and families. To deal with the budgetary crisis, the department is stripping allocated funds from medical research and services for American citizens. During the last month alone, an average of 255 UACs per day were placed in the custody of the ORR after being processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, according to the Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughn.
For now, the department is making drastic cuts to health services for American citizens. Outgoing HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell has directed that $167 million be cut from other programs to cover the costs of services for illegal immigrant minors through December 9 when the current continuing resolution expires, Vaughn wrote.
CBP officials stated they “will also regularly assess whether to expand these facilities or keep this temporary facility operational based on the volume of people arriving at or between our Ports of Entry, or crossing the border in the South Texas area. CBP is prepared to add housing, beds, toilets, and bathing facilities as necessary.”
Testifying before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan created additional incentive for illegal immigrants to risk their lives and the lives of their children by paying ruthless drug cartels to smuggle them to the U.S. During his testimony, Chief Morgan admitted that the agency’s policy of releasing illegal immigrants encourages more illegal immigration, National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 President Art Del Cueto tweeted.
The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) strongly objected to the content of Chief Morgan’s testimony and stated that in an Op-Ed published Wednesday by Breitbart Texas. The union, which represents the approximately 16,500 of our nation’s Border Patrol agents, wrote that the agency deliberately scheduled the union’s President Brand Judd to other duties, making it impossible for him to offer testimony on behalf of the agents he represents.
“Chief Morgan and NBPC President Brandon Judd were asked to testify,” NBPC officials wrote. “Agent Judd was supposed to sit on the same panel as Chief Morgan, but CBP refused to make Morgan available unless he testified on his own panel. CBP and Morgan were worried Agent Judd would come off as more credible, knowledgeable, and polished.”
They union also criticized Morgan’s political statements about amnesty and “comprehensive immigration reform.” Morgan stated that the Border Patrol supports comprehensive immigration reform. “This is directly contrary to the voice and will of the vast majority of the Republicans elected to Congress,” the NBPC wrote. “It is also directly contrary to President-elect Trump’s comments while on the campaign trail.”
As the flood of illegal immigrants crossing the southwest border appears to have no end in sight, CBP officials stated they will continue to monitor the situation and add additional processing facilities. While the agency continues to state it will “work with other federal and international agencies to discourage individuals from embarking on the dangerous trip to enter the United States illegally,” they will not carry out the perhaps most effective measure of simply returning the immigrants to their home country when they are captured immediately after crossing the border.
DISCLOSURE: Breitbart News sponsors the National Border Patrol Council’s radio program, The Green Line. Breitbart News previously covered the costs of a slain Border Patrol agent’s funeral. The National Border Patrol Council endorsed Donald Trump for President after the candidate vowed to give veteran Border Patrol agents a voice in what is needed to properly secure the U.S.-Mexico border.