The Transportation Security Administration will be sending a few hundred employees to support federal agents at the U.S.-Mexico border, the agency confirmed in a statement to Houston Public Media.
“TSA, like all DHS [Department of Homeland Security] components, is supporting the DHS effort to address the humanitarian and security crisis at the southwest border. TSA is in the process of soliciting volunteers to support this effort while minimizing operational impact,” said a TSA media spokesman in a written statement.
The TSA spokesman said agents will be sent on a voluntary basis and less than 1% of the agency’s some 60,000 employees will be impacted.
Volunteers won’t be working with Customs and Border Protection as customs officers, but will provide support in meal delivery, transportation, legal affairs and personal property management, according to a TSA official.
CNN broke the story early Wednesday, quoting two sources and an internal email saying TSA planned to involve up to 175 law enforcement officials and as many as 400 people from Security Ops.
In March, Customs and Border Protection announced it would re-assign 750 agents from ports of entry to work along the U.S.-Mexico border, citing the border security and humanitarian emergency at the border.
So far this fiscal year, border officials have apprehended 44,779 unaccompanied minors, 248,197 migrants in family groups and 167,318 single adults as of April 2019, surpassing the total number of border apprehensions from all of fiscal year 2018.
As of April last year, a total of 212,000 migrants had been apprehended so far in fiscal 2018.