Customs and Border Patrol has proposed the construction of a second centralized migrant processing facility in El Paso, Texas, where migrant families will be held. CBP is currently in the process of acquiring land for the facility, which according to a July 2020 environmental assessment, would accomodate for 965 detainees and a staff of 200.
Arrests and detentions on the US-Mexico border rose slightly during April to 178,622. The number of unaccompanied minors, as well as the number of minors in custody, has dropped slightly.
The number of unaccompanied migrant children in CBP facilities has dropped 84 percent over the past month, from a peak of 5,767 on March 28 to 954 on April 28.
Senators Cornyn, Sinema, and Cuellar introduced The Bipartisan Border Solutions Act, which increases CBP involvement in the asylum process and is intended to streamline and speed up processing at the border.
The number of unaccompanied minors in CBP custody has dropped 45%, from a peak of 5,767 on March 28th down to 3,130 as of April 11th.
President Biden has asked Congress to increase funding for ICE and CBP workforce oversight offices to $470 million (a 22 percent increase) to help investigate white supremacist beliefs.
President Biden is planning to nominate Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus to lead CBP, according to a White House announcement. Magnus was reportedly selected for his efforts on police reform and for his understanding of the separation between local law enforcement and federal law enforcement.
Some migrants are now being released into the United States without documents due to lack of CBP capacity.
CBP announced the opening of a soft-sided processing facility in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Over 171,000 migrants were encountered on the southern border during March 2021, according to preliminary CBP data. This is the highest monthly total since 2006.
Two Ecuadorian girls (aged 2 and 5) were dropped over the top of a 14-foot section of the border wall by a smuggler on March 30th. The children were taken to a CBP facility and then to a local hospital.
CBP confirmed to Congress that 4 individuals arrested on the southern border since October 1 match names on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database, including 3 Yemenis and a Serbian.
Asylum-seekers being flown from the Rio Grande Valley to El Paso due to limited capacity are being expelled to Mexico by CBP, according to the Dallas Morning News. Exact numbers are unclear, but at least 50 migrants have been expelled into Juarez.
More than two dozen CBP officers in full riot gear blocked several northbound vehicle lanes at the port of entry in downtown Nogales. The officers were conducting a routine training exercise, but failed to notify anyone that they were doing so.
CBP has created a new position to deal with the situation at the border. The Border Patrol processing coordinator will care for migrants in detention at processing centers and free up Border Patrol agents for other responsibilities.
DHS has failed to effectively implement prompt asylum programs including the Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR) and Humanitarian Asylum Review Process (HARP), according to reports released by the DHS Inspector General and U.S. Government Accountability Office. These programs were developed to quickly process migrants with claims of credible fear, and raise very troubling due process concerns.
CBP announced that it is building soft-sided (tent) processing facilities in Donna, Texas that will be complete within 30 days. The facility will increase U.S. capacity to process apprehended migrants, particularly asylum seekers. A more permanent processing facility in McAllen, the Central Processing Center, is under renovation.
- In an internal memo, CBP’s Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan announces the designation of CBP as a “Security Agency,” with the same highly secretive intelligence and law enforcement classifications as the FBI and Secret Service. Irvin McCullough, a national security analyst with the Government Accountability Project, tells The Nation that this designation will result in less transparency, as it grants CBP more liberty to exempt certain records from public disclosure.
- CBP and ICE launch a pilot program to collect DNA of U.S. citizens, permanent residents holding a “green card,” asylum seekers, and people entering the country without authorization when detained by Border Patrol. Starting January 13, CBP will collect swabs from people apprehended at the Canadian border near Detroit, Michigan, and at the official port of entry in Eagle Pass, Texas. The pilot program will last 90 days, subjects as young as 14 will be tested, and there are plans to expand nationwide.