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Acting Commissioner Sanders Statement on Transferring People in Border Patrol Custody to Southwest Border Locations

Release Date: 
May 18, 2019

WASHINGTON – Saturday, Acting Commissioner John P. Sanders released the following statement:

“For months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been very clear about the situation on the southern border, which is both a humanitarian and an operational crisis. To manage the unprecedented number of people in our custody, CBP began transporting hundreds of families by bus and aircraft from the U.S. Border Patrol’s severely overcrowded processing facilities to less-crowded stations along the Southwest border. This is the latest contingency we’ve exercised in response to the ongoing humanitarian and border security crisis, which has overwhelmed the entire immigration system.

As of Friday, the U.S. Border Patrol had over 16,000 people in custody, many of whom are in overcrowded facilities. This is the result of a record number of Border Patrol apprehensions – 500,000 so far this year.  We may need to take additional action for the welfare of those in our custody and the health and safety of everyone, including our law enforcement personnel and support staff at our processing facilities. 

However, contrary to inaccurate reports in the press, CBP has no plans to transport people in our custody to northern or coastal border facilities, which include Border Patrol stations in Florida.

The men and women of CBP — and Border Patrol agents in particular — are serving on the frontline of this crisis.  They are doing everything they can and we are using every resource available to cope with this worsening emergency. I am asking Congress to act, to help us address this national emergency.”

Last modified: 
May 18, 2019