Border Patrol officials are re-opening many of the inland border security checkpoints following decreases in migrant crossings in June and July. The reductions also allow Border Patrol agents to return to other security missions.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol officials told Breitbart News earlier this week they re-opened inland checkpoints after decreased migrant apprehensions freed up agents previously forced into transportation, processing, and health care duties. Officials said fewer apprehensions also allowed agents to pursue other missions that were curtailed by the massive numbers of migrant families and unaccompanied children earlier this year.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday that agents apprehended more than 300,000 migrant children since the fiscal year began on October 1, Breitbart News reported. This represents nearly 40 percent of the more than 800,000 migrants apprehended along the southwest U.S. border. Some of those minors are part of the 450,000 Family Unit Aliens apprehended along the border while the remainder crossed as Unaccompanied Alien Children, Morgan stated.
“These numbers are staggering, unprecedented, and have overwhelmed every aspect of our border and immigration enforcement system,” Morgan told the senators.
“Smugglers openly advertise about a safe and legal journey to the United States,” he explained. “They tell migrants and their families that there is a policy in the United States that anyone who arrives with a child will not be deported. And our laws support that perception.
He said that if there is not a meaningful change in U.S. laws, detention facilities will continue to be overwhelmed while Border Patrol agents are diverted from their primary mission. “Smugglers, like the one who threw the paraplegic man in the Rio Grande, they will continue to profit,” he said.
Border Patrol officials in the Yuma and El Paso Sectors closed many of the inland checkpoints earlier this year as the mass migration of mostly Central American migrant families pulled nearly 60 percent of agents off of their primary mission of border security, Breitbart News reported.
After the closures, New Mexico law enforcement officials called the closed checkpoints a “green light for cartels” and contributed, at least in part, to an increase in violent crimes and murders in the state.
A Yuma Sector Border Patrol official told Breitbart News they are now seeing an increase in the apprehension of previously deported criminal aliens and wanted child sex offenders as agents return to their primary posts.
Commissioner Morgan credited the decrease in migrant border crossings in large part to the Trump Administration’s agreements with Mexico to increase immigration enforcement in that country. He cautioned senators that the current slowdown could be temporary and Congress must act to fix the loopholes in immigration and asylum laws that are being exploited by cartels and other human smugglers.
“Congress must acknowledge this is a crisis and pass meaningful legislation to address the current legal framework,” Morgan concluded in his prepared statement to the committee.