MCALLEN, Texas — Customs and Border Protection agents are so overwhelmed with the number of migrants arriving at the southern border they’re having a hard time verifying whether some illegal migrants are minors or adults, agents told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Tuesday.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are supposed to conduct extensive interviews with migrants they suspect of lying about their age, a senior agent told the DCNF. The agents spoke to the DCNF on the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak on the matter.
“In the past, our intelligence would interview these subjects until eventually getting them to admit they had falsely claimed to be minors. But now with the sheer volume of people coming in and people that we have to process and move, that part of the equation is just a hindrance and would create a bottleneck,” the senior CBP agent told the DCNF. “In other words, our processing machine has now switched gears to quantity over quality. Sad.”
As the Biden administration ramps up the release of illegal migrants detained at the southern border, they are exempting many from the Transportation Security Agency’s government photo ID rules for airline travel, giving them special permissions to fly after a background check.
The Texas National Guard will be deployed to assist law enforcement officials in arresting illegal migrants on state criminal charges at the southern border, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.
Illegal migrants apprehended who are found to have committed state offenses such as criminal trespassing, human trafficking and narcotics smuggling are subject to arrest and detention, according to Abbott.
A Border Patrol agent was arrested in Laredo, Texas, Friday after allegedly smuggling illegal migrants into the U.S., Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday.
Border Patrol Agent Rodney Tolson, Jr. was routinely assigned to lane inspections at an interior checkpoint where he allegedly conspired to transport and smuggle illegal migrants into the U.S. for payment from around Feb. 9, 2020, through March 26, 2019, according to an indictment.
Illegal migrants are repeatedly held outside overnight, sometimes in the rain and cold, without cover for them or law enforcement officials working to process them after they arrive in the Rio Grande Valley sector of southern Texas.
The Daily Caller News Foundation saw hundreds of illegal migrants held overnight where a handful of law enforcement officials, including a few Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents worked on gathering biographical data while waiting hours for transportation near La Joya, Texas, on March 24 and March 27. CBP officials repeatedly refused to confirm or deny the situation in the Rio Grande Valley.
Border officials won’t say how many illegal immigrants are caught and released without set court dates, though nearly 25,000 were issued Notices to Appear in immigration court in the first two months of 2021, according to Customs and Border Protection.
Border officials issued 24,726 Notices to Appear to migrants encountered in January and February, of those a10,028 migrants were released and 14,698 migrants were detained, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It’s unclear how many illegal migrants were encountered and released without court dates.
Around 1,000 illegal migrants are entering the interior of the U.S. daily without overwhelmed border officials able to gather identifying information or take them into custody, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials are occupied processing unaccompanied migrant minors and family units while attempting to control the number of male adults who enter the U.S., leading to some illegal migrants entering the U.S. unknowingly, according to three CBP officials who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter, the Post reported. The number of migrants who are able to evade officials, known as “got aways,” has increased substantially in recent weeks, two of the officials told the Post.
A “got away” is someone who crosses the border illegally, is not apprehended and has not been turned back, according to CBP. The agency spent over $1 billion in the last 20 years on surveillance technology to monitor for illegal crossings, though officials haven’t always able to apprehend illegal migrants.