Internal documents of the Pentagon and Homeland security have uncovered the full scale of challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border that the President and his administration are facing with migrants arriving at the border to seek asylum in the U.S.
Newsweek, which obtained the documents, reported that among the most pressing issues: the number of single, adult migrants in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody is growing at a rate of 1,000 people per week.
In response, Department of Homeland security (DHS) officials have taken the unprecedented step of having industrial-style tents constructed to facilitate the transfer of migrants out of overcrowded facilities along the southern border.
In a previously undisclosed letter to the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials detail how their agencies have taken “extraordinary measures” to alleviate overcrowding in the detention system and are at “serious risk of exceeding safety standards on a regular basis,” caused by growing numbers of arriving migrants, particularly families, and poor allocation of resources at the border.
When DHS, which oversees both CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), sent the letter last month, CBP was detaining 8,000 single adult migrants in its facilities in addition to 9,000 unaccompanied migrant children and family members.
“As of today, CBP has over 8,000 single adults in custody,” DHS wrote on May 9. “That number has been increasing by 1,000 per week.”
Over the last three months, CBP apprehended at least 7,000 single adults every week at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to agency statistics. And the number of apprehensions in May was nearly double that in January. The discrepancy in the numbers of single adult migrants apprehended and detained each week is because CBP routinely transfers its detainees to other agencies, such as ICE.