Tucson Sector border chief believes immigration system needs reboot
PHOENIX – The U.S. Border Patrol is a can-do agency, said a sector official in Arizona, but without a deterrent, there’s only so much that can be done by immigration enforcement.
“We need help,” Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal said Monday in an interview with Fox News.
“It’s not just Border Patrol – it’s (Immigration Customs and Enforcement), it’s (Enforcement and Removal Operations), it’s the … courts, it’s immigration judges. The entire system needs a reboot,” he said.
Villareal has been on the job since March, but has been with the agency for more than 30 years.
The White House might ask Congress for $1.4 billion more in funding, on top of the $2.8 billion in emergency money requested three weeks ago.
“The request for additional funding is so that we can … increase detention space,” Villareal said.
“Our normal detention capacity is about 4,000. A crisis level is 6,000 … we are holding anywhere from 10 to 12 thousand people a day,” he said.
ICE has released 30,600 migrants into Arizona since just before Christmas 2018 through mid-May, the department said last week.
There was no relief in sight unless legislation was signed, he said.
The Border Patrol, Villareal said, is “a can-do agency. The men and women do a tremendous job and we’re faced with a daunting task.”
Recently, two soft-sided facilities to house the migrants went up, he said. Each of the temporary structures in El Paso, Texas, can hold up to 500 migrants.
“The linchpin to this is to trade some sort of deterrent. That does not exist right now because we’re releasing people.
“And without detention space, there’s nothing that is going to impede this flow,” Villareal said.