8K Migrants Held in Single Texas Border Sector, Say Feds

Migrant processing shelter in McAllen, Texas. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector

Border Patrol agents are currently holding an average of 8,000 migrants per day in facilities in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of South Texas. This represents about half of the total number of migrants in U.S. custody nationwide.

Border Patrol officials in the Rio Grande Valley Sector tasked personnel to construct four temporary structures to hold the ever-increasing number of migrants apprehended in the nation’s busiest sector. Other temporary shelters are at capacity, according to information obtained from Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol officials.

“For months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been very clear about the situation on the southern border, which is both a humanitarian and an operational crisis,” Acting CBP Commissioner John P. Sanders said in a statement on Saturday. “As of Friday, the U.S. Border Patrol had over 16,000 people in custody, many of whom are in overcrowded facilities. This is the result of a record number of Border Patrol apprehensions – 500,000 so far this year.”

Because of the ongoing crisis, Rio Grande Valley Sector officials were forced to build tents as auxiliary housing for processing and caring for migrants who have illegally crossed the border from Mexico, Breitbart News reported Saturday. The sector is averaging between 1,000 and 1,500 migrant apprehensions per day.

“The longer illegal aliens remain in custody, the harder it can become to sustain our operations but housing the migrants in these tents is the default solution,” Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch said in a written statement. “This is the reality of what happens when we simply cannot handle the influx of migrants arriving. We are doing all we can to ensure a safe environment for all involved but it is crystal clear that we have a real emergency on the border; this is not sustainable.”

Officials report the cost of clothing, feeding, housing, and providing medical care for these migrants is costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per day. To assist with the unprecedented crisis at the Texas border, Border Patrol agents are receiving assistance from members of the Department of Homeland Security Surge Capacity Force. This group is composed of civilian employees.

“Coast Guard, Federal Protective Service, Office of Field Operations, and Department of Defense (DOD) personnel from throughout the nation are assisting the sector in transporting migrants; providing administrative support, meal distribution and monitoring the welfare of individuals in CBP custody,” officials stated. They emphasized that “DOD personnel are not conducting law enforcement actions.”

“The men and women of CBP — and Border Patrol agents in particular — are serving on the frontline of this crisis.” Commissioner Sanders concluded. “They are doing everything they can and we are using every resource available to cope with this worsening emergency. I am asking Congress to act, to help us address this national emergency.”

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