The Border Patrol Agency has announced a new position for “processing and caring for migrants who reach the southern border, allowing agents to refocus their work on enforcement.”
The “Border Patrol Processing Coordinator” will assume certain responsibilities that have consumed the agency’s time as it deals with a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release on Tuesday. The new position is meant to bring relief to agents who have long complained that the humanitarian crisis has kept them from performing their main role at the border.
Coordinators are to be tasked with feeding, cleaning, transporting and other general tasks for illegal immigrants in Border Patrol custody. Migrants in need of medical care will be transported to hospitals by coordinators, who will also be assigned to watch over migrants as they receive care.
“I am committed to providing the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol the resources they need to accomplish their border security mission,” Carla Provost, Chief of the Border Patrol, said in a prepared statement. “Border Patrol Processing Coordinators will take on processing, transportation, and custody responsibilities, which will free up agents for critical law enforcement operations.”
Forty percent of the Southwest border agents have to handle menial tasks and other care-taking chores related to the migrant families. Not only are the agents forced to release the immigrants into the interior of the U.S. because of the shear quantity they have to deal with, they are unable to monitor the border for narcotics and sex trafficking. One agent described his job as “babysitting:”
“Right now, we are babysitting,” an agent stated in January, decrying his new nursing role. “We’re supposed to pay attention to medical conditions that we’re not trained for. We are not machines. We’re emotionally stressed.”
The Border Patrol plans on hiring for the new position early in fiscal year 2020.
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)