US New DHS intelligence effort aims to better monitor and prepare for migrant surges
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Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) called on Mayorkas to be impeached.In a statement by the DHS, the agency said that they were canceling remaining border contracts in the U.S. Border Patrol's (USBP) Laredo and Rio Grande Sectors.
The Department of Homeland Security is setting up a new intelligence gathering and law enforcement unit to monitor the movement of migrants journeying to the US southern borderlast month when thousands of people arrived in Del Rio, Texas.
The initiative is aimed at improving the department's operational ability to prepare for potential migrant surges, according to DHS. The cell,, is expected to be operational by the end of the month, according to a Homeland Security official.
"DHS recently developed a new analytic effort that combines law enforcement and intelligence resources to improve our ability to operationally prepare for large numbers of migrants that may arrive along the southwest border," a DHS spokesperson said in a statement.
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"My anxiety attacks have been abnormal here — they have gotten worse since I arrived," a 16-year-old migrant girl from El Salvador said in a court declaration. "I have had about 3 or 4 anxiety attacks since I have been here."Another migrant girl housed at the Pecos facility said her 15-year-old brother, who had been at the site for 60 days, became "depressed" because they were not being released to their relative."I am very concerned that there are so many kids who have been here for over 60 days," the 17-year-old Honduran girl said in her declaration.
DHS will increase collection of fingerprints and potentially other biometric information, with the help of foreign partners, as migrants travel to the US, the official added.
In addition to increased law enforcement activity, the effort is intended to allow for the prepositioning of resources, including screeners and transportation.
It will be led by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Coast Guard. Agencies are also expected to work with personnel in the region, the official added.
The cell will work on a daily basis to analyze information coming from DHS components, other federal entities, state and local sources, foreign governments, as well as imaging and online platforms to better anticipate events such as Del Rio and address them as needed, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the planning.
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As the recent wave of migrants makes its way through McAllen, Texas, local nonprofits and city officials have become overwhelmed.McAllen, within the larger Hidalgo County, serves as a drop-off point for migrants exiting the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As the wave of migrants continues to surge, local nonprofits and city officials, which are left to process the immigrants after they leave Border Patrol, have become overwhelmed.
Similarly, DHS is improving communication and coordination with countries in the region, like Mexico, Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. In some cases, those efforts may include expanded information sharing agreements with foreign countries to improve intelligence gathering, the official said.
"Often times foreign governments may have information relating to large-scale movement of migrants heading to the US. We need to be able to effectively gather that and analyze it," the official said.
The new unit comes weeks after administration officials were caught off guard by an influx of migrants -- many of them Haitian -- who converged under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, leaving officials ill-prepared to manage needed housing, transportation and processing.
"All year there's been constant flow across the border," a CBP official told CNN about the Del Rio situation. "We have been consistently overcapacity ... but there was no sense that 20,000 people were going to show up in a matter of days."
Biden administration preparing to restart Trump-era 'Remain in Mexico' policy in November
DHS said reimplementing the policy in November is subject to whether the Mexican government will accept the migrants the United States expels.The Department of Homeland Security said reimplementing the Migrant Protection Protocols policy in mid-November is subject to whether the Mexican government will accept the migrants that the United States government will expel, according to a court filing by Blas Nuñez-Neto, acting assistant secretary of Border and Immigration Policy at DHS.
"Obviously, there is better situational awareness in Mexico needed. I don't believe that nobody noticed 120 buses," the official said. "I know that we did not see it until it materialized."
DHS had been closely following the movement of migrants through the hemisphere and working with law enforcement partners in transit countries,, but the administration didn't anticipate the pace at which people would arrive, some of whom had been moving by bus instead of walking.
DHS will use the new team of intelligence and law enforcement staff to improve monitoring of groups and strengthen programs like Operational Sentinel -- an anti-smuggling operation designed to map the criminal organizations' networks, as well as target their members, associates and assets, according to the DHS spokesperson.
The unit also stems from concern among law enforcement officials that the surge of drugs to the US from the south, a trend dating back to 2018 and continuing through today, is contributing to the uptick in gang and street violence that we are seeing in the US, the law enforcement official added.
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