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Updated: 32 min 29 sec ago

Secretary Nielsen to Travel to Southern Border to Oversee Responses to Humanitarian and Security Emergency

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 10:13

WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen will travel to the U.S.–Mexico border this week where DHS agents and officers are coping with record migration flows. The Secretary will meet with frontline operators to assess the crisis, the Department’s response, and efforts to surge federal government resources to the area to restore order.  She will also review the implementation of measures announced earlier this week to reassign port-of-entry personnel to support the humanitarian response and to provide the relief needed for agents to resume their security missions, including the impact this personnel reallocation has had on trade and travel. Secretary Nielsen will highlight the urgent need for lasting solutions to the emergency by urging Congress to fix the legal loopholes fueling migration flows.

On Wednesday, April 3, the Secretary will travel to El Paso, Texas where she will visit the El Paso Del Norte Port of Entry and the El Paso Border Patrol Station, as well as receive a briefing at the El Paso Station’s Satellite Processing Facility. El Paso’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Sector and facility is currently over capacity by 280% with more than 3,400 in custody.

Secretary Nielsen will then travel to Yuma, Arizona on Thursday to meet with DHS leaders from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a roundtable meeting with local law enforcement officials, local elected officials, and representatives from non-governmental organizations. On Friday April 5, she will join President Donald Trump in Calexico, California to visit the border wall, participate in a roundtable discussion on the emergency, and discuss the way forward.

Yesterday, Secretary Nielsen announced that DHS would be taking a full-fledged “disaster response” approach to the border emergency, including appointing a lead federal official for interagency action and utilizing FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center. Secretary Nielsen has directed DHS agencies to surge resources and personnel from across the Department toward border security and migration management and has also put out a call for volunteers from non-border missions from both DHS component agencies and interagency partners.

This week, Secretary Nielsen directed CBP to undertake emergency surge operations, including immediately redeploying hundreds of CBP personnel from field operations and ports of entry to assist with the response to the crisis. By reassigning these personnel, Border Patrol agents will be freed up from humanitarian response and enabled to return to critical security operations.

Topics: Border Security
Keywords: Border Security, Customs and Border Protection, Secretary Nielsen

Secretary Nielsen Convenes Border Crisis Meeting, Taps Manuel Padilla to Coordinate Interagnecy Border Emergency Cell

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 17:06

On April 2, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen convened a DHS-wide meeting on the humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border. The Secretary received updates on the latest apprehension numbers, capacity challenges, and the Department’s operational response.

“I want to be clear with the American people: there is an unprecedented emergency at the southern border, and DHS is leading a true government-wide emergency response,” said Nielsen. “We are using every tool at our disposal, redeploying personnel and resources, and calling on all federal agencies to assist, where possible. While only legislation can fix this crisis in the long term, we cannot wait for Congress to act. It is our duty to secure the homeland, enforce our immigration laws, and uphold our humanitarian obligations. So we are devoting everything we can to that end.”

Secretary Nielsen announced her decision to temporarily re-assign Manuel “Manny” Padilla as the lead official to coordinate DHS and interagency support to the border crisis response effort. Manny is a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, serving most recently as Chief of the Rio Grande Sector. In September 2018 he was appointed by President Trump as Director of the Department’s Joint Task Force - West. Effectively immediately, Manny will lead an Interagency Border Emergency Cell to improve information sharing and coordinate interagency support to CBP and ICE efforts to bring the situation under control.

“Manny brings deep on-the-ground experience and an operator’s understanding of the challenges we face in responding to the current crisis,” said Nielsen. “I have asked him to lead day-to-day efforts to ensure our frontline agencies have what they need to confront this situation head on. Manny’s team will utilize the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) as the hub for interagency coordination.”

Earlier this week, the Secretary announced additional actions to address the border emergency, and this week she will be traveling to the Southern Border to oversee response operations.

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Topics: Border Security, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: Border Protections, U. S. Border Patrol