The U.S Border Patrol closed highway checkpoints in the El Paso sector over the weekend after reassigning agents to help deal with an influx of undocumented immigrants. An official with the Border Patrol said the closure was temporary but was unable to give a specific time frame for when it might reopen.
The closures include the Interstate 10 checkpoint between Las Cruces and Deming, New Mexico. However, Highway checkpoints in the neighboring Big Bend Sector remain in operation, including the busy Interstate 10 checkpoint near Sierra Blanca, Texas, a Border Patrol official said.
“The United States Border Patrol (USBP) continues to apprehend illegal alien families and unaccompanied children in steadily increasing numbers. To process and ensure appropriate care for those in custody, resources including personnel have been diverted from other border security priorities,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “This is intended as a temporary measure. Checkpoints are integral to USBP’s border security mission.”
The international borders in West Texas and New Mexico have seen a surge of unauthorized migration of mostly Central American families and unaccompanied minors seeking asylum after they are apprehended. In a statement released March 19, a sector spokesman said agents were apprehending on average 570 people per day, with about 90 percent of them coming from Central America.
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