According to a new report, hundreds of TSA personnel are being redirected to the southern border to help out with the migrant crisis during the summer months.
The Transportation Security Administration acknowledged in an internal email obtained by CNN that the move carries “some risk” of depleted resources in aviation security.
As many as 175 law-enforcement officials and 400 workers from security operations could be moved to the border, with some parts of TSA being asked to contribute about 10 percent of its workforce, the network reported.
The deployment will not include uniformed airport screeners.
“There is now immediate need for more help from TSA at the SW border,” senior TSA official Gary Renfrow wrote in the email to agency regional management. “TSA has committed to support with 400 people from Security Ops” who will be deployed in waves “similar to support for past hurricanes.”
“We also understand that we are accepting some risk as we enter a very busy summer,” Renfrow added, calling the effort an “additional challenge.”
A former DHS employee who is, coincidentally a CNN analyst, argued that the personnel shift would remove staff from important tasks. “That’s sweeping airports, that is monitoring activity on the inside and outside of the security line, they’re supporting local and state law enforcement,” the CNN analyst said.
That deployment would result in a decrease of about 8 percent to air marshal operations and a 20 percent drop to VIPR patrol operations, according to a source who said TSA has about 31 VIPR teams.
After legal training, the officials will be designated as immigration officers and help Customs and Border Protection officers and agents in their duties, a source familiar with the plans told CNN.
Activity at the border continues to increase. U.S. Attorney for Western Texas District John Bash says that district judges are ruling in ways to keep the immigration system broken. “I think the administration has tried all sorts of steps to stop that incentive to come here illegally. The problem is in a lot of those cases a single district judge sitting somewhere outside of the border area has enjoined an initiative nationwide,” Bash said.
Meanwhile, Texas border agents say they are apprehending 229 migrants an hour or 5,500 a day.
“Resources consumed by the massive influx of illegal aliens and these humanitarian efforts along the South Texas border are beyond a breaking point and has put border security at risk”, said Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch.
The number of apprehensions at the border have doubled since 2014, when Obama called the situation a crisis.
“Why is it doubling? Because word’s out on the street in Central America – if you bring a minor child with you to America, we can only hold a minor child for 20 days,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said this weekend. “Will we release everybody, including the adults that never show up for the hearing cases three years from now? It’s also been found out in Central America. You ask for asylum. Nobody’s trying not to get caught.”
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)