ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Border Patrol closed all five highway checkpoints in New Mexico on Saturday and reassigned agents to help with the influx of migrant families and unaccompanied children.
“To process and ensure appropriate care for those in custody, resources, including personnel, have been diverted from other border security priorities,” a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement.
Border Patrol agents have been coping with a surge in families crossing in the El Paso sector, which includes all of New Mexico. In the past month in the El Paso and Sunland Park area, agents have been taking on average 600 people a day into custody.
In order to have the manpower to transport and process the large number of migrants, the checkpoints have been temporarily shut down.
A total of six checkpoints are closed, including all five in New Mexico, and one in West Texas.
Border Patrol operates checkpoints within 100 miles of the border to detect undocumented immigrants and drugs. Agents also find stolen vehicles and wanted felons, according to Border Patrol.