With migrants sleeping on the ground and penned up under a bridge, news that the U.S. Border Patrol is putting them on planes is yet another sign of America’s border breakdown. Note: These flights are not headed south.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has started running daily flights from the Rio Grande Valley, where shelters are maxed out. At $16,000 per trip – about $120 per migrant – the overwhelmed CBP is scrambling to ensure that adult migrants don’t slip through the cracks as agents process an increasing number of “family units.”
Taking to the air because all its buses are being utilized, CBP is flying migrants to Laughlin Air Force Base near Del Rio for processing. Family units with no criminal history or illnesses are released.
From there, commercial buses transport migrants to points north, east and west. Dispersing before hearings on their asylum status, it’s anyone’s guess how many will actually show up in court. The latest Department of Justice statistics indicate that 28 percent of illegal aliens released into the U.S. failed to appear. It’s likely that percentage has increased since the 2017 report.
Bowing to chronic overcrowding, CBP in recent weeks began releasing migrants directly, instead of waiting for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to pick them up and detain them.
The Border Patrol apprehended 109,144 migrants at the Mexico border last month, the highest total since 2007. More than 60 percent of them were families or children. Now planes are being deployed to launch their journey into America’s interior.
“This is the worst I have ever seen it, by far,” said one veteran Border Patrol agent in South Texas.