Monday, June 09, 2014

Arizona Border Patrol agents taken off patrol for immigrant processing

The explosive number of immigrant minors traveling alone and illegally entering the U.S. through South Texas is having a detrimental effect on border security here in Arizona, according to the president of the Local 2544 Border Patrol agents union who spoke with CBS5. CBS5 has confirmed Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona are being pulled out of the field. Instead of arresting drug smugglers, they are doing paperwork and processing a massive wave of unaccompanied immigrant juveniles who are being housed in Nogales. Unaccompanied alien children, as they are called by federal officials, have been arriving in Nogales since Tuesday according to Art Del Cueto, President of the Local 2544 Border Patrol agents union.  The children are being detained in a non-descript warehouse that Customs and Border Patrol formerly used as a processing facility, but it has been dormant for several years. Nearly a thousand children slept there Friday night, most of whom are considered Other Than Mexican (OTM). They traveled from a variety of countries in Central America and were caught crossing the border in South Texas. The infrastructure there has been overwhelmed in dealing with a recent surge of immigrants and that's why federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been busing adults and families to Phoenix and now, flying children into Tucson and busing them to Nogales. "They go through screenings and health and welfare checks. There's agents there 24, seven watching these people. They're getting fed at least four times a day," said Del Cueto. "It's a detention facility it's not a hotel." Del Cueto represents agents who work in the Tucson sector which includes Nogales. It is his fellow agents who are keeping watch over those juveniles instead of patrolling their zones. "We're putting in jeopardy the security of our border especially in Arizona," he said...more

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