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Tag: assylum seekers

Border Patrol, ICE Criticized for Handling of Surge in Migrants Crossing Border

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Detention facilities are overflowing with migrants because of the surge in people, many of them children, crossing the southern border illegally, and Border Patrol is struggling to handle the crisis.

More than 200,000 migrants illegally crossed the southern border in March and April, and more than two-thirds of them were either children or adults with children, according to UPI.

“Our immigration system is full, and we are well beyond our capacity at every stage of the process,” Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told a House committee last week.

Many of those crossing are seeking asylum, forcing ICE to release them to a network of migrant shelters in communities along the border. But with insufficient space, Border Patrol is beginning to release asylum seekers into border communities, often with little to no warning.

That new policy has rattled volunteer coordinators who try to house and feed the migrants.

“Sometimes the agents tell us to expect 50 migrants, but we end up with 150. Other times, a bus filled with migrants will show up unannounced at a shelter,” said Ashley Heidebrecht, a social work student and intern at the Borderlands Rainbow Coalition, a nonprofit that provides meals to migrants.

El Paso’s Hope Border Institute, a think tank that supports the humane treatment of migrants, has criticized the Border Patrol’s handling of the surge.

“The Border Patrol is not thinking strategically,” Dylan Corbett, director of the think tank, told UPI. “The agency doesn’t seem to have any goals and is just operating as things come up, day to day. I really don’t know who is calling the shots.”