Chief Border Patrol agent for the El Centro sector in California, Gloria Chavez, thanked the Department of Defense Tuesday for boosting the country’s border security.
“I can’t say enough about DOD. [The] DOD has been a phenomenal partner to us on the ground, on the border” she said on “Fox & Friends.” (RELATED: Border Agent Tells CBS That This Is The Worst Immigration Crisis He Has Ever Seen)
“To date, they’ve been providing so much infrastructure support by placing concertina wire in areas that are very fragile and vulnerable to our border security mission. They’ve also been pumping water out of areas where water’s been flooding along the border wall, the border fence. And then also they’ve been building bridges and providing us in some areas some surveillance for situational awareness. So DOD has been great. Their skill sets are magnificent. So any support that comes from DOD is very much appreciated.”
Chavez also expressed concern about the next caravan of illegal immigrants headed for the southern border, and said border agents are distracted from their jobs when they’re forced to give aid to migrant families.
“This caravan situation, it is concerning to us. There are two things that we are dealing with now. We have organized caravans which started back in October of 2018. These caravans consistently keep us very tasked. Both between the ports of entry and at the ports of entry. The other situation is the family unit situation,” she said.
“Back in 2014, we had the crisis with unaccompanied alien children. And in 2016 it changed to family units and children. And now today it’s still continuing to increase. So it has not stopped. For us it is a humanitarian crisis. And it’s also a national security crisis. Because the focus of our agents is no longer on that border security mission. They’re being so tasked that their focus is shifting to providing support and aid to many of these families and children that come across our border.”
Chavez said facilities are becoming overcrowded because migrants are being housed in short-term centers for long periods of time.
“For us it’s a bit frustrating and overwhelming. Already our facilities which are short-term processing centers … They’re not long-term detention. They’re already fully tasked and they’re at full capacity and overcapacity,” she said.
“We have sectors like Yuma, Arizona. We have sectors in Tucson, El Paso, that are fully tasked with people already. And for us it’s a bit overwhelming because now we see that these organized caravans continue to come. And they’re coming because they’re continuing to take advantage of the opportunity.”
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