Authorities using aircraft to relocate migrants due to overcrowding at US-Mexico border: report

Authorities using aircraft to relocate migrants due to overcrowding at US-Mexico border: report
© Getty Images

Trump administration officials have begun organizing flights of detained migrants as a means of relocating them to detention facilities for processing as the number of people detained at the border continues to rise.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has made the rare decision to transport migrants by plane to various facilities located near the border as the administration struggles to deal with overcrowding.

According to the paper, there are daily flights scheduled in the coming week, with two such flights scheduled for Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

CBP officials did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

Migrants have been put on aircraft for transportation to various detention facilities before, the Post noted, but the practice marks the first reported use of aircraft for transporting migrants to booking and processing facilities.

“This is the worst I have ever seen it, by far,” one Border Patrol veteran told the Post, referring to the number of apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks.

Nearly 100,000 migrants were apprehended along the border in April for illegal border crossings, according to agency statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security. Kevin McAleenan, acting Homeland Security secretary and head of Customs and Border Protection, said earlier this year that the number of illegal border crossings had reached a "breaking point."

“For the first time in over a decade, CBP is performing direct releases of migrants when [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] is unable to provide bed space to relieve overcrowding,” McAleenan said at the time.

Those comments were echoed on Wednesday by Border Patrol chief Carla Provost, who told Congress that the Trump administration would lose control of the border if it lost the ability to effectively deport single adults, the last demographic CBP says it can reliably deport without delays.

“My greatest concern is that we will no longer be able to deliver consequences and we will lose control of the border,” she said.