Border Patrol agents requested additional federal aid in Del Rio, Texas, months before thousands of migrants set up a temporary camp under an international bridge and overwhelmed immigration officials, CNN Politics reported Thursday.
Border officials reported an increase in migrants crossing the Rio Grande River earlier in the summer but didn’t know more than 14,000 migrants would end up setting up camp under the bridge, according to CNN Politics. On June 1, the union representing Del Rio Border Patrol agents asked for additional technology resources to help agents quickly process large groups of migrants in the field before sending them to a station.
“This way, we can at least get part of the process finished before they even get to the station instead of wasting that time,” said Jon Afinsen, president of the National Border Patrol Council in Del Rio, in an email exchange with regional Border Patrol management, CNN Politics reported.
Border Patrol agents in the Del Rio sector were required to work overtime around the same time the union asked for more technology for the agents, CNN Politics reported. Officials could use the technology to start processing large groups of migrants while other agents made room inside the local station.
The union made another request to management on June 3 after management failed to respond, according to CNN Politics. Union officials proposed setting up a trailer near the river so intelligence agents could help process large groups of migrants.
Management told Anfinsen on June 17, “this is being explored, several other platforms are being considered which are more efficient,” according to CNN Politics. It’s unclear if any further communication occurred.
Around 600 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials and other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) volunteers deployed to Del Rio, Texas, in response to thousands of migrants setting up a temporary camp under an international bridge, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during a Monday press conference. Officials also increased deportation flights and the number of buses available to transport migrants from the camp to airports.
Border officials encountered more than 32,000 migrants in the Del Rio sector of the southern border in August, according to CBP data. More, officials have encountered more than 1.3 million migrants at the southern border since January, according to CBP records.
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