McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Nearly all of the Border Patrol agents who had been deployed from northern sectors to the Southwest border have returned home, but some are being sent to El Paso where there is an immigrant surge, Border Report has learned.
The Department of Homeland Security had detailed over 20% of its northern border workforce in 2022 to help at the Southwest border. But a DHS spokesperson says, for the most part, that is no longer necessary.
“Global and hemispheric irregular migration required a re-allocation of resources to the Southwest border. However, the department’s successful new policies have reduced encounters between ports of entry to the lowest levels since February 2021 for two consecutive months, allowing CBP to return nearly 95% of agents who had been detailed from the northern border back to their normal posts,” a DHS spokesperson told Border Report.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported in February that migrant encounters along the Southwest border were under 129,000 for the second month in a row.
Most of the agents detailed came from sectors not seeing large numbers of undocumented migrants. Areas considered critical, like the Rio Grande Valley Sector, have not sent agents to other areas, a CBP official told Border Report.
Border Report also has learned that Border Patrol agents also have been sent to El Paso from sectors in Washington state, including from Spokane. That is to meet an unprecedented increase in the number of undocumented migrants crossing in the West Texas city.
On Tuesday, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability held a hearing on immigration encounters on the United States’ northern border with Canada.
Committee Chairman Dan Bishop, a Republican from North Carolina, said at the hearing that 25 Border Patrol officers have also been sent to help “the overwhelmed northern border.”
Republicans have criticized the Biden administration’s plan for securing the nation’s borders.
“This unprecedented border crisis could be stopped at any time. Sadly, President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas are playing games with our national security instead of securing our border,” House Homeland Republicans tweeted.
But DHS officials say a recently announced Safe Third Country Agreement with Canada is reducing the need for agents surged to the northern border and “is expected to have a significant deterrent effect on irregular migration.”
The agreement that President Joe Biden signed March 24 with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says asylum-seekers who cross between legal ports of entry are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they qualify for an exception, such as unaccompanied minor children.