Friday, December 8, 2023

US Border Overwhelmed by Migrant Surges in 3 States, Closing International Bridges and Causing Chaos; Border Patrol Chiefs Tell Lawmakers of ‘demoralizing’ Migrant Surge

US border overwhelmed by migrant surges in three states, closing international bridges and causing chaos:
Border Patrol forces in California, Texas and Arizona are so overwhelmed by the thousands of migrants surging into the US, they’re having to take drastic measures to deal with them.
Crises have emerged in four areas, according to local sources and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), closing one of the two international bridges at Eagle Pass, Texas, border station to all traffic since Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, an international crossing at Lukeville, Arizona, was also closed down.
The closures were undertaken “in order to redirect personnel to assist the US Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody,” CBP said.
Elsewhere along the southern border, similar drastic measures were taken to address surges at other hotspots.
The Tuscon Sector, which covers most of the the Arizona-Mexico border, halted its social media accounts Sunday to utilize all its personnel in addressing the “unprecedented flow” of migrants, sector chief John R. Modlin announced.
“All available personnel are needed,” Modlin said, later adding “To be clear, it is my intention to remain transparent.”
Modlin had previously revealed his agents had made 15,300 apprehensions across their border sector in just one week, as well as making three drug busts, capturing 117 lbs. of fentanyl headed for the US.
CBP figures showed 52,000 people had presented themselves at border crossings along the Southwest border for entry into the US in October, a figure far eclipsed by the 189,000 who were encountered attempting to illegally cross into the country between points of entry in the same month.
Erika Pinheiro, executive director of migrant services at legal aid company Al Otro, told The Post the cartels and people smugglers deliberately change tactics and send migrants to different areas to test for weaknesses in US border patrol coverage. --->LOTS MORE HERE
Border Patrol chiefs tell lawmakers of ‘demoralizing’ migrant surge:
Border Patrol chiefs of nine sectors along the US-Mexico frontier have warned a House committee about the “unprecedented” number of illegal migrant crossings that occurred in 2023 — and the threat it presents to the safety of both American citizens and the migrants themselves.
Depositions taken by the House Homeland Security Committee show the veteran officials differed in their assessment of the causes of the historic border surge — but agreed both on the humanitarian dangers and national security concerns, according to transcripts of their remarks reviewed by The Post.
“I wasn’t expecting to see the numbers go like that. It never had happened before in the Big Bend Sector,” Chief Patrol Agent Sean McGoffin said of his Texas region in an April 25 interview.
“Certainly not unprecedented to see a surge or spike,” Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Dustin Caudle of the Yuma Sector in Arizona told the House panel on Sept. 28. “The volume that we’re seeing recently, in my opinion, in my career [what] I’ve seen is what I would consider unprecedented.”
“Tucson, because of the incredible amount of heat out there, the summer months tend to be very low,” Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin testified on July 26 of his sector in Arizona. “What’s happening now — that is unheard of.”
“I looked at 10 years of data to what the summer months should be,” he added. “[W]e should have about 17,000 apprehensions in July, you know, given 10 years of data aggregated. Instead we’re at 26,000. So this time of year, the most dangerous time of year, is seeing one of the most significant flows that we’ve seen.”
Modlin said the uptick has been “demoralizing” to him and his agents, who he said are fighting “to keep the border as secure” as they can.
Several interviews took place before the end of Title 42, a pandemic-era health policy that allowed for rapid expulsions, but chiefs anticipated fiscal year 2023 border crossings would surpass the record reached in the previous year.
Chief Jason Owens, who oversaw the Del Rio Sector in Texas for “most of last year” before being elevated, said his region “led the nation day to day in terms of apprehensions,” which was “the first year that [encounters] had surpassed the Rio Grande Valley Sector.”
“At the end of the fiscal year, we finished off FY ’22 [Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022] with just over 480,000 apprehensions and right around 200,000 known ‘gotaways,’” Owens said, referencing migrants who enter the country illegally without being caught. --->LOTS MORE HERE
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