U.S. Border Patrol agents along the northern and coastal borders are being asked to help their colleagues at the U.S.-Mexico border by expediting the virtual processing of illegal immigrants, according to a memo.
The memo, obtained by the Daily Caller, said that as of Monday, the USBP had more than 19,100 migrants in custody.
“We need Northern/ coastal sectors to ramp up their virtually processing support over the weekend,” the message states. “In general, USBP [U.S. Border Patrol] did a good job managing in-custody numbers throughout the Thanksgiving week, however, the in-custody numbers have now increased due to an average number of low bookouts versus encounters.”
Virtual processing involves agents meeting with migrants on a video call. Fox News Digital has reached out to the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Much of the Border Patrol’s resources have been directed to sectors in Texas, Arizona and California. On Monday, the CBP announced that it will temporarily suspend and reduce vehicle processing at ports of entry in Texas and Arizona, in response to a surge in migrant encounters along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Vehicle processing operations at Eagle Pass International Bridge 1 in Eagle Pass, Texas will be temporarily suspended and vehicle processing will be reduced in Lukeville, Arizona.
The U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector in Arizona reported having 15,300 illegal crossings last week, marking the highest weekly total ever.
“At this time, all available personnel are needed to address the unprecedented flow,” John Modlin, chief patrol agent of the Tucson Sector, posted to X on Sunday. “The social media team will return once the situation permits.”
The actions are being taken to allow CBP to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody.
Migrants at the southern border hit the highest-ever number for October last month, with more than 240,000 people encountered, officials announced earlier this month.
There were 240,988 encounters at the border in October, CBP said. That’s higher than the 231,529 recorded in October last year and the 164,837 encountered in 2021. In Oct 2020, there were just 71,929 encounters.
The number is down from the 269,735 encounters in September, which marked the highest monthly total ever. FY 23 saw a record 2.4 million encounters overall.
Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz and Greg Wehner contributed to this report.