Border Patrol Costs Exploding as More Migrant Families Reach the US

April 23, 2019 Updated: April 23, 2019

One Border Patrol sector expects to spend around four times as much on basic necessities as more illegal family units descend on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector spent $300,000 on food, formula, diapers, and basic medical care in fiscal year 2018, the Washington Examiner reported Monday. In an indication of how much more agents are forced to spend to care for illegal migrants in its custody, agents in the Yuma Sector have already spent $600,000 on those very same services and items for the current fiscal year—and it’s only halfway over.

The Yuma Sector expects to dole out $1.2 million, four times as much as 2018, by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. The precipitous rise in costs comes after agents caught 25,000 illegal migrants traveling in family units through southwestern Arizona in the past six months.

“We only have one hospital, and that’s to serve the whole community, which is the whole Yuma County,” Yuma Border Patrol agent Justin Kallinger told the Washington Examiner. “We have snowbird season—our population goes from 100,000 to 200,000. It doubles. Most of that age group still needs medical attention quite a bit. Our ERs [emergency rooms] are stacked already before we start with the illegal aliens we have to take to the hospital.”

Law enforcement agents working across the entire U.S.-Mexico border have seen a monumental uptick in illegal migrants in the past year.

migrant caravan
Central American caravan migrants walk along a roadside in Huixtla, Mexico, on their way to the United States on Jan. 20, 2019. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced its agents have made 418,000 apprehensions this fiscal year to date, a number that already surpasses the 404,142 nationwide apprehensions seen in the entire 2018 fiscal year. A vast majority of the captures are taking place on the southwestern border.

Yuma, one of nine Border Patrol sectors on the southern border, has been hit especially hard.

The mayor of Yuma, Arizona, declared an emergency on April 16, begging the federal government to assist his border town with the migrant situation. The next day, New Mexico’s Otero County declared an emergency and asked the governor to deploy the National Guard and re-open CBP checkpoints.

Unlike years prior, many of the migrants currently reaching the U.S. southern border belong to family units. However, immigration enforcement officers have detected rising numbers of “fraudulent families.” Border Patrol identified over 3,000 fraudulent family cases within the past six months alone.

Jason Hopkins/Energy Investigator

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