Deployment of agents to Afghan processing centers won’t affect border enforcement

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Some 130 CBP employees and an unspecified number of HSI investigators vetting refugees in Europe, Middle East

FILE – In this Aug. 24, 2021, file photo, provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, families walk towards their flight during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan. A school district in a San Diego suburb that is home to a large refugee population says many of its families who had taken summer trips to Afghanistan to see their relatives have gotten stuck there with the chaos following the withdrawal of U.S. troops. (Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps via AP, File)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – More than 100 border officers and employees are vetting and processing Afghan refugees abroad.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Thursday confirmed it has deployed some 130 staff members to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Spain, the agency said. They’re working with the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security in the screening of Afghans who have done work for the U.S., and Afghans considered a vulnerable population.

Homeland Security Investigations is also contributing to the effort.

“HSI El Paso is actively monitoring the situation and providing support where needed via our DHS partner agencies and special agents embedded in various task forces,” the agency said in a statement.

Both agencies said the temporary reassignment of those immigration officers and investigators will not affect operations on the Southern border – where migrant apprehensions are at levels not seen in two decades.

“HSI El Paso remains committed to securing our southwest border and the arrival of Afghans in no way degrades or impedes HSI’s mission of combating transnational criminal organizations,” the agency said in a statement.

Graphic courtesy CBP

U.S. immigration agents last July apprehended 212,672 migrants on the Southern border. They expelled 45 percent under public health Title 42 order. So far this fiscal year, border enforcement agents have “encountered” more than 1.5 million unauthorized migrants, according to the CBP website.

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