As the immigration crisis at the southern border continues to grow, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents are feeling the effects.
The U.S. is on track to apprehend over one million migrants attempting to enter the country through the southern border this fiscal year. So far, hundreds of thousands of migrants have been apprehended by CBP, putting a strain on resources and manpower that has forced Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release 168,000 migrants on their own recognizance.
Of these migrants, 87 percent of them will not return for their court date, according to a statistic by ICE.
Due to the heavy influx of migrants, CBP agents have been pulled from their posts guarding the border to assist in caring for the people being detained — spending an average of 40 percent of their on-duty time caring for them — which has prompted the agency to open up caregiver positions so that the agents can return to the jobs they are trained for.
Some agents have spoken out on how “exhausted” they are from dealing with the large number of people being held in the facilities.
Wesley Farris, the second vice president for the National Border Patrol Council’s El Paso chapter, explained that agents at the border are “exhausted” both “physically” and “mentally.”
“If there’s going to be a front-page headline about what’s happening on the border as it pertains to Border Patrol agents, it should be, ‘Exhausted,’” Farris said. “That’s what we are — exhausted — in every avenue. Exhausted mentally. Exhausted physically.”
The Border Patrol union’s Yuma chapter president Mario Campos said that some of the situations being dealt with by the agents are “horrible” and that they are occurring “more often” now than before due to the “huge influx.”
“Some of the things that they have to see and deal with are horrible,” Campos said, adding that the agents “find people that are deceased — in way greater rates than normal. Normally, we get things that are significant events like this that happen throughout the year, but because of the huge influx, it happens more often.”
The former U.S. Border Patrol chief, Ron Vitiello, also spoke out in a recent appearance on “Fox and Friends,” where he claimed that the facilities holding migrants were “being overwhelmed” by the massive numbers, as IJR Red previously reported.