The state of California decided that it wanted to become the first sanctuary state in the United States and now they are going to get their wish.
Not only has President Donald Trump sent one airplane full of undocumented immigrants to the Sunshine State, more are coming, Time reported.
The U.S. Border Patrol said Friday that it would fly hundreds of migrant families from south Texas to San Diego for processing and that it was considering flights to Detroit, Miami and Buffalo, New York.
The flights are the latest sign of how the Border Patrol is struggling to keep up with large numbers of Central American families that are reaching the U.S. border with Mexico, especially in Texas. Moving migrants to less crowded places is expected to distribute the workload more evenly.
Flights from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley to San Diego were to begin Friday and continue indefinitely three times a week, with each flight carrying 120 to 135 people, said Douglas Harrison, the Border Patrol’s interim San Diego sector
Plans to fly from Rio Grande Valley to Detroit, Miami and Buffalo were preliminary, Harrison said. Authorities were researching available airports and the ability for nonprofit groups to provide temporary assistance.
Already, U.S. authorities are moving four buses a day from the Rio Grande Valley to Laredo, Texas, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away. There is also a daily flight contracted through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to Del Rio, Texas, about 275 miles away (440 kilometers) away.
Agents in the Rio Grande Valley will collect biographical information and do a medical screening before sending migrants to San Diego on flights contracted by ICE, Harrison said. Migrants will go from San Diego International Airport to a Border Patrol station, where they will be fingerprinted, interviewed and screened again for medical problems. Processing at the station typically takes hours.
ICE will decide whether to release or detain the families in San Diego. Its practice since October has been to quickly release families in the U.S. with notices to appear in immigration court.
“We don’t have an end date,” Harrison said. “This is a contingency operation. We’ve got to give the people in Rio Grande Valley some relief.”
President Donald Trump is keeping another promise as he takes migrants from the border state of Texas and ships them to the sanctuary city of San Diego.
The migrants are being boarded onto an airplane and being flown to the sanctuary city as President Trump threatened months ago, Reuters reported.
Hundreds of detainees from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in Texas and elsewhere are being flown to San Diego for processing beginning on Friday, the agency said.
Border officials said they are developing plans to fly potentially thousands of migrant families to other places away from the southern U.S. border with Mexico.
The agency said the number of people apprehended at the border since Oct. 1 was nearly 520,000, the highest in a decade. In the past week, there was an average of 4,500 arrests a day.
This is making it difficult to process and release family units within 20 days of their arrival at a detention center, as required by law, the CBP said in a statement.
U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this year declared the immigration influx a national emergency, which allowed him to circumvent Congress to redirect more than $6 billion in funding to start building the border wall that he campaigned on in the 2016 presidential election. His move has been challenged in courts.
Three flights a week will arrive in the San Diego area from the Rio Grande Valley carrying approximately 130 people per flight, a CBP official at the San Diego office said.
“We’re in the middle of a humanitarian crisis and the numbers in Texas are staggering so the BP is helping out in those sectors to more efficiently process these folks,” said the official, who declined to be identified.
Flights operated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) will land at San Diego International Airport and the detainees will be moved to the eight Border Patrol stations in the San Diego sector. “They will be housed properly inside,” the official said.
The program has no end date and no unaccompanied children will be on the flight.
The CBP statement said the border officials are also busing people to El Centrol from Yuma and to Laredo from the Rio Grande Valley. It did not say which other cities might receive migrants. Media reports say the agency was considering flights to Detroit, Miami and Buffalo, New York, where the agency has facilities.
Trump last month threatened to send migrants to so-called sanctuary cities such as New York and San Francisco, which generally give undocumented immigrants safe harbor by refusing to use their resources to help enforce federal immigration laws that could lead to deportations.
In the past week, border authorities have averaged 4,500 apprehensions a day and facilities aren’t equipped to care for the influx of children, the CBP statement said. Since Dec. 21, ICE has released approximately 180,000 family members into places in the United States.
“Whenever possible, the releases have been coordinated with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As NGOs have reached their capacities, CBP has released family units at transportation hubs during daylight hours when the weather does not endanger those released,” the statement said.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 18, 2019
— San Diego Informer (@sandiegoinforme) May 18, 2019