TEXAS

US Border Patrol Hires Civilians To Free Up Agents For Field

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Haitian migrants use a dam to cross to and from the United States from Mexico, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitian migrants have assembled under and around a bridge in Del Rio presenting the Biden administration with a fresh and immediate challenge as it tries to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers who have been reaching U.S. soil. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(AP) — The U.S. Border Patrol hopes to free up agents to go back into the field by hiring civilians to perform tasks like checking holding cells and collecting information for immigration court papers. It says agents spend about 40% of their time caring for people already in custody and administrative tasks that are unrelated to border security.

The federal police agency graduated its first class of “processing coordinators” in January with a goal of eventually hiring 1,200. The Border Patrol’s staffing problem has come into focus as thousands of Haitian migrants waited to surrender in the small Texas border city of Del Rio.

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