The Department of Defense is deploying Crisis Response Forces to the U.S.-Mexico border to make sure one of its key asylum policies is enforced, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Friday.
The task forces are part of the Department of Defense’s mission to support the CBP, which has faced difficulty this year with large migrant caravans flooding the border. “At peak of the crisis in May 2019, there were more than 4,800 aliens crossing the border daily – representing an average of more than three apprehensions per minute,” the CBP said.
Under the new plan, more than 150 troops will be shifted from their standby location in Louisiana to the southern border, CNN reported. About 80 will go to the Paso del Norte port of entry in Texas and another 80 will go to the San Ysidro port of entry in California. All will arrive before Sunday and will be in place for two weeks.
The Trump administration’s move comes after a federal appeals court last week blocked the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy, which requires foreigners to wait in Mexico until their court hearings to enter the U.S. take place. Before the rule, foreigners were simply stopped at the border, given a court date, then released into America under a policy known, unofficially, as “catch and release.”
After the ruling, foreigners gathered at some locations along the border, CNN said. “But while the ruling has been temporarily paused, senior agency officials told reporters Friday that last week’s events prompted concerns about personnel safety. Several ports of entry were closed or partially closed last week.”
“Based on the pending … decision, continued concern of large groups attempting to forcibly enter through (ports of entry), and COVID-19 containment and mitigation concerns, CBP has activated the crisis response force,” the official said.
In January, the Trump administration began sending Mexicans who enter the United States illegally deep into the country’s interior in an effort to solve the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) started to fly illegal aliens from Tucson, Ariz., to Guadalajara, more than 1,000 miles away.
“Officials say the migrants being returned are all Mexican nationals from non-border Mexican states who typically have either recently illegally entered the U.S., or who had gone through the court system but were ruled to be deportable by an immigration judge,” Fox News reported.
DHS says it plans to run two flights a week starting at the end of January and expects to return about 250 migrants a week. Officials say the move has been requested by the Mexican government, with which the U.S. has been working for months to stem the border crisis — which peaked in May but still concerns officials.
“This is another example of the Trump Administration working with the Government of Mexico to address the ongoing border security crisis,” DHS spokeswoman Heather Swift told Fox News. “Mexico has been a great partner in stopping illegal migration before they reach our border and in standing up the Migrant Protection Protocol which has allowed us to provide court dates to more than 55,000 individuals.”
The administration, in December, set in place a rule that stems from new “Asylum Cooperative Agreements” (ACA) with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
Under the new agreements, the three Central American countries are required to stop foreigners from attempting to get to the U.S.-Mexico border. Should a country fail to do so, and foreigners are eventually apprehended at the U.S. border, the U.S. government can send the foreigners back to the country from which they immigrated. The move follows a rise in “caravans,” huge groups of Central Americans crossing numerous borders to get to the United States.