With more than 22,000 migrants being held in custody, a source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the Border Patrol is being forced to cut routine patrols along the border. In some areas, highway inspection checkpoints have been closed to accommodate another increase in the number of migrant crossings. On Monday alone, the agency apprehended more than 7,700 migrants nationwide.
The source says Border Patrol agents are increasingly assigned strictly to duties related to accommodating large groups of migrants who are surrendering in hopes of being released into the United States. The agents are relegated to processing, transporting, and releasing the migrants to non-government shelters in many cases.
In the Texas border sector of Del Rio, agents left swaths of the border, nearly 40 miles wide, without patrols, the source stated. Most stations in the area are delegating a significant portion of their staffing to migrant processing. At one soft-sided facility near Eagle Pass, Texas, nearly 3,000 migrants are routinely detained in a space designed to accommodate 1,000.
In the Tucson Border Patrol Sector, agents assigned to patrol remote desert and mountain areas have been reassigned to a nearby processing center. In Douglas, Arizona, specialty enforcement units, such as the agency’s horse patrol and all-terrain-vehicle unit, have been left with only a skeleton crew to patrol close to the city, according to the source.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, migrants from multiple countries have entered the United States near Lukeville, Arizona, in recent weeks in single groups of 300 to 500 in size. Breitbart Texas observed several strategically placed all-weather Border Patrol checkpoints on major highways leaving the border near Lukeville during the Labor Day week that were shuttered due to staffing reallocations.
In Las Cruces, New Mexico, Breitbart noted the closure of one large immigration checkpoint on Interstate 10 outside the city during the Labor Day weekend. According to the source, the checkpoints are a critical piece of the agency’s multi-layered defense strategy. Although the checkpoints are intended to check the immigration status of travelers, often, other crimes are discovered during the inspection process.
In June, Border Patrol agents seized 192 pounds of fentanyl valued at more than $2 million. The amount of fentanyl seized was enough to kill 48 million people, according to the agency. The source says having checkpoints closed only helps the cartels reach the interior of the United States, whether they carry people or narcotics.
“This is it,” the source stated. “If smugglers go through closed checkpoints, it’s up to state and local law enforcement to pick up the slack, but it’s much harder. Legally, we can perform a brief immigration inspection of all travelers.” Other law enforcement agencies must have probable cause before making a traffic stop or conducting a vehicle search.
Accommodating the large migrant groups routinely surrendering near many border cities is daunting. Border Patrol agents have been relegated to replenishing water supplies to offer the surrendering migrants during the latest heatwave. Breitbart Texas observed agents assisting the migrants to collect left-behind garbage in a futile attempt to keep up with the tons of garbage left behind once the migrants crossed the border.
The source says other DHS volunteers and detailed officers are also pitching in. In Lukeville, the source says Homeland Security Investigations special agents have been relegated to driving transport vans to take migrants to a local processing center.
“These special agents are trained to investigate complex criminal cases involving human smuggling, child pornography, and the illegal importation of narcotics,” the source stated.
“We’ve got them driving vans. The whole situation here is beyond belief,” the source emphasized.
According to the Tucson Border Patrol Sector Chief Patrol Agent John R. Modlin, nearly 11,000 migrants were apprehended during the Labor Day Week in his sector alone.
According to CBP, between October and July, more than 1.6 million migrants have crossed into the United States at the southern border. According to unofficial reports reviewed by Breitbart Texas, just under 180,000 migrants were apprehended in August, bringing the total migrant encounters across the southwest border to more than 1.8 million.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, nearly 600,000 migrants have managed to avoid capture by the Border Patrol since October and are listed as “Got-Aways.”
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.