Border authorities encounter as many as 1,200 migrants a day in south Texas, sources say

Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Border authorities in the Rio Grande Valley have encountered between 900 and 1,200 migrants a day for the past two weeks, according to a federal law enforcement source familiar with daily operations in southern Texas.

These types of numbers are reminiscent of the surge in 2019, when agents encountered at least 1,000 immigrants a day, the sources said.

The surge in immigration comes as the Trump-era pandemic rule known as Section 42 is set to be lifted on Dec. 21. The policy allows border agents to quickly return migrants to Mexico.

The end of the policy is expected to lead to an increase in border crossings, as authorities will no longer be able to expel them as quickly as they have been since March 2020.

Federal agencies in the Rio Grande Valley also received at least 200 additional migrants who arrived by plane or bus from other Border Patrol areas such as Del Rio and Laredo, according to the same law enforcement source.

The process by which the federal government moves migrants from areas with full capacity to areas with room to process them is called “decompression.”

Increased transportation resources such as flights and buses are part of the plan that led to the lifting of Title 42, among the six pillars of the DHS plan released last week.

The plan, outlined in a seven-page document, also said the increased resources to the southern border would include hiring nearly 1,000 Border Patrol processing coordinators and adding 2,500 contractors and government agency personnel — putting federal agents on the border. Ability to focus on field legal enforcement duties.

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