More than 100 Border Patrol agents from California and Arizona have been shifted to the southernmost tip of Texas, the country’s busiest sector for illegal immigration, the agency announced Wednesday.
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While arrests of immigrants who have entered the U.S. illegally have fallen or stabilized on other parts of the border, they’ve soared in South Texas, driven in large part by immigrants from Central America.
The temporary assignments are the latest signal the agency is trying to adjust its staffing to meet the new reality along the Southwest border. The temporarily assigned agents arrived at the Rio Grande Valley this week, and the length of their stay is not set, said Border Patrol spokesman Danny Tirado. Last year, the Rio Grande Valley sector also began receiving the bulk of the new academy graduates.
Nearly 3,100 Border Patrol agents were assigned to the Rio Grande Valley last fiscal year, about 1,000 fewer than the Tucson, Ariz., sector, even though the Texas sector sprinted past Tucson last year in total arrests.