U.S. Border Patrol officials are now using air transportation to move migrants from overcrowded processing centers to lesser-impacted facilities, particularly from the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
On Friday, officials in the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector began flying migrants from McAllen, Texas, to Del Rio, Texas, the Washington Post reported. The flights are operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) but the migrants remain in the custody of Border Patrol.
The Post reported that the flights are aimed at moving single adults and family units from South Texas detention facilities as authorities prepare for even-larger numbers of family units and unaccompanied minors. These types of flights are highly unusual for Border Patrol, the newspaper reported. The agency resorted to utilizing flights which carry up to 135 souls because all buses are being utilized to transport migrants from the border to the initial processing centers. The flights are said to cost taxpayers about $16,000 each or about $120 per migrant.
San Angelo Live reported that migrants are being flown to Laughlin Air Force Base near Del Rio. Border Patrol officials then utilize buses to move the migrants to the Border Patrol station. Border Patrol officials stress these are “non-criminal alien family units.”
After processing, the Del Rio Sector will likely release family units with no criminal history or illnesses into local communities.
ICE officials are also screening family units in the Del Rio Sector for false or fraudulent family claims, Acting ICE Director Matthew T. Albence told Breitbart News in an interview last week.
“We have been working these cases from an investigative standpoint for quite a while,” Director Albence told Breitbart News. “What we’re doing now that is a little different is surging the additional resources to the ports of entry and Border Patrol stations where these individuals are being arrested and being processed. We’ve got teams in seven different locations who are conducting interviews of people who appear to be fraudulent families or where we have concerns that they are not who they say they are.”
“The results have been staggering thus far,” the director stated. “In just a couple of weeks, we’ve interviewed 256 family units and identified 65 fraudulent families. Almost three out of every ten families we’ve interviewed have become fraudulent.”
In an effort to more quickly determine the instances of false familial claims, federal officials are about to deploy a “rapid DNA” testing program in two locations. He said this specific type of DNA testing will return a result in 90 minutes that can identify a parent-child relationship.
Albence said the Rapid DNA testing will being this week. “We hope to have some results next week.”