EL PASO – Numerous highway checkpoints are temporarily closed down as border patrol agents are being re-directed to process a record influx of immigrants crossing the border and then requesting asylum.
According to Texas Monthly, a border patrol spokesman said the agency was preparing a statement on the checkpoint details. However, as of Saturday, all checkpoints were closed to vehicle inspection. Agents who were originally assigned to those checkpoints are processing and transporting hundreds of family units and unaccompanied children crossing along, and at El Paso border.
The following checkpoints are temporarily closed:
- U.S. Highway 62/100 (approximately 30 miles east of El Paso in Hudspeth County)
- Several other checkpoints along the highway in Far West Texas and Southern New Mexico
Rep. Henry Cuella (D-Texas) said, “We’re seeing an impact on the traditional work Border Patrol and CBP do to handle the large number of asylum cases.”
Every type of narcotic one can use has been seized at checkpoints like these. In the 2018 fiscal year CBP reported over 41,863 pounds of marijuana, 2,717 pounds of methamphetamine, and over 200 pounds of fentanyl.
In addition to narcotics confiscated, CBP process approximately 600 migrants each day. The influx of undocumented immigrants being processed come from Honduras and Guatemala. Dentition facilities are over capacity, causing even more of a strain on border patrol and immigration courts.
Just in February, 66,450 individuals were apprehended crossing the entire southern border. In the first five months of the fiscal year, there were 163,087 apprehensions of family units and unaccompanied minors – more than all of 2018 (157,248).
And the crisis looks to continue to deepen this summer. Rio Grande valley chief agent Rodolfo Karsich said that as summer begins and temperatures rise, border patrol expect to see more crossings.
The summer months are known as the “rescue season.”
Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs. Follow her AIM border stories, @MarissaAlisa.