Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is sending 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents to an area in South Texas.

Johnson announced the added security to the Rio Grande Valley sector during a trip to Texas border facilities on Monday with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mary Mathews BurwellWhy Trump will win the wall fight Price was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue Overnight Healthcare: GOP chairman to introduce pre-existing condition bill MORE and Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Md.). 

The surge in agents near the Gulf of Mexico is meant to bolster efforts to detect people entering the U.S. illegally and to enhance processing and detention capabilities, the Department of Homeland Security said in a release.


“This deployment enhances efforts to execute joint, targeted enforcement operations in order to disrupt and degrade criminal organizations that are responsible for smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs throughout the South Texas Corridor,” the DHS said. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has apprehended more than 37,500 unaccompanied children in this area of Texas from Central America since October — accounting for most of the 52,193 who have crossed the border during that time period.

Johnson’s decision to deploy agents came the same day as President Obama’s announcement to take executive action and bypass a deadlocked Congress on immigration reform.

“If Congress will not do its job, at least we can do ours,” Obama said in remarks from the White House Rose Garden. 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told Obama last week that he would not hold a vote in the House on immigration reform this year.

Meanwhile, the White House on Monday requested that Congress approve $2 billion in new funds that would help control the influx of migrants at the South Texas border.