The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is planning to send hundreds of officials to the southern border to help the Department of Homeland Security with the escalating immigration crisis, Fox News confirmed Wednesday.
“TSA, like all DHS components, is supporting the DHS effort to address the humanitarian and security crisis at the southwest border,” a spokesperson told Fox News. “TSA is in the process of soliciting volunteers to support this effort while minimizing operational impact.”
The move, first reported by CNN, is expected to consist of a few hundred officials, with a maximum of 400 volunteers, ranging from department attorneys to, potentially, some air marshals. CNN reported that the agency does not initially plan to involve uniformed airport screeners, but that some parts of TSA will be asked to contribute around 10 percent of their workforce.
The spokesperson said that the deployment schedule had not yet been finalized and that Americans should not be concerned that the deployment will hurt air travel safety because “at this time, the deployment will not include any frontline resources.”
The measure comes as the Trump administration faces a spike in the number of illegal border crossings, and as President Trump increases his calls for Congress to act to end loopholes in immigration law and make funding available to secure the border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it apprehended or turned away more than 109,000 migrants attempting to cross the border In April, the second month in a row the number has topped 100,000 and averaged more than 3,000 apprehensions a day.
Last month, Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch told lawmakers on the Senate Homeland Committee that his sector is being hit by a caravan-size influx of migrants crossing the border each week.
“This is not a manufactured crisis created by those of us who live and work in the border area. Border Patrol continues to apprehend record numbers of people who purposely violate U.S. immigration laws, we are taken advantage of by gaps in our legal frameworks and that undermine the rule of laws,” he said.