‘Capacity issues’ prompt Border Patrol to release immigrants after processing


Border Patrol is making some changes as undocumented immigrants continue crossing into the U.S. by the hundreds.

According to a news release, agents will release processed undocumented immigrants in the El Paso and Southern New Mexico as they await their court hearings.

Officials say the measure is due to capacity Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations’ capacity issues.

Officials have not yet specified the areas in which the immigrants will be released.

As KTSM previously reported, agents in the El Paso Sector apprehend about 570 migrants per day, with 90 percent happening in the El Paso metropolitan area.

To date, CBP says Border Patrol has had a 370 percent increase in the number of family units apprehended.

So far this year, CBP encountered 104 large groups composed of more than 100 people, compared to only 12 large groups the two previous years. 

In the El Paso area, 7,565 unaccompanied children have been apprehended throughout this fiscal year. This time last year, the number was only 1,746.

A 1,670 percent increase in family apprehensions also went from 3027 last year to 53,565 this year.

Border Patrol also temporarily shut down immigration checkpoints in the El Paso sector to allow agents to process the influx of migrants crossing into the U.S., according to a CBP spokesperson.

CBP officials say agents are being “diverted from other border security priorities” to “ensure appropriate care for those in custody.”

“The United States Border Patrol (USBP) continues to apprehend illegal alien families and unaccompanied children in steadily increasing numbers,” CBP officials wrote in a statement. “This is intended as a temporary measure. Checkpoints are integral to USBP’s border security mission.”

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