Agents patrolling the northern border were asked to deploy to Florida due to a large surge in illegal migrants in recent months, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday.
The Miami sector has seen increasing flows of illegal migrants with a surge of hundreds of them reaching the Florida coast in a matter of days in early January, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded more than 1,300 migrant encounters. For the last few months, agents stationed along the northern border have been dealing with their own migrant surge and deployments to address another surge at the U.S.-Mexico border. (RELATED: American Dissatisfaction With Immigration Levels Increases As Border Crisis Continues: POLL)
“While the southwest border with Mexico continues to be the most problematic area for border security, Biden has made it possible for people and cartels to exploit weakness on all our borders including our coastal borders and northern border. Robbing Peter to pay Paul by moving resources from one area to another is, and has never been the answer, while it might help one area, it weakens the area the agents vacated. This Administration has proven it has little ability and care to protect our borders thereby safeguarding US Citizens,” Judd told the DCNF.
#BreakingNews @USCGSoutheast reports that all remaining migrants on @DryTortugasNPS, an #updated total of 337 migrants (not including the 90 migrants previously removed by @USCG), were removed from the island & are onboard a @USCG cutter for transfer to Key West, tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/2t8c0Mu4XU
— Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast (HSTF-SE) (@HSTF_Southeast) January 5, 2023
Border Patrol agents stationed along the U.S.-Canadian border, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak, confirmed to the DCNF that they were asked to volunteer.
“What’s next?” one of the agents told the DCNF. “We’re all being stretched pretty thin.”
“The situation in Florida isn’t uncommon. However, it wasn’t consistent as it has appeared to be recently. Once the boats started showing up consistently, and with hundreds of apprehensions per vessel, the need for additional agents brought about the requests for agents who wanted to volunteer to deploy down to Miami Sector,” a second northern border agent told the DCNF.
The situation has also led Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to send in additional state resources, including the National Guard, and declare an emergency. In one instance, two cruise ships in the area came to the rescue.
CBP told the DCNF that it had deployed additional resources to address Florida’s influx of illegal migrants.
“Due to maritime migrant fluctuations in Florida, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has deployed additional Border Patrol and Air and Marine Agents to the south Florida area of operations. These additional resources along with our integrated collaboration with our federal, state, and key stakeholders, allows for a rapid and efficient response to any increase in migratory flows. CBP seeks to deter and disrupt human smuggling activities by transnational criminal organizations and ensure our personnel are properly equipped to maintain border security,” a CBP spokesperson said.
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