It's called operation secure line. A border operation that's taking El Paso Customs and Border Officers and sending them to California and Arizona, in advance of the expected migrant caravans.
Operation Secure Line is not good news for people who cross the border here in El Paso.
Fewer Customs and Border Protection Officers at our ports of entries mean longer wait times and more lane closures. The city has an agreement with C-B-P to help with staffing, but it doesn't appear the P3 partnership can do anything about the shortage of CBP officers working the different ports of entry.
Today, two groups of customs and border protection officers boarded on planes and flew west, to California and Arizona, to help authorities with the migrant caravans that are expected to arrive any day now.
This means west Texas will have a shortage of CBP officers. In a statement made by a CBP spokesperson "cross-border travelers should anticipate increased processing times and the potential for temporary lane closures."
In 2013 the city entered into an agreement to staff and pay the overtime hours for CBP officers, to open up more lanes during peak travel times.
David a Coronado, The Assistant Director International Bridges Department told ABC 7, "We actively work with CBP on getting additional lanes open at the bridges to ease congestion, and reduce wait times"
The city pays for about 1600 overtime hours each month, but if CBP is not able to keep the agreed lanes open at the peak travel times, Coronado said, "then they will not have the agents on post, and the city will not be charged for those hours."
Coronado told ABC 7, that even though the city pays for the overtime hours through bridge tolls, they are not able to do anything about the CBP officers being deployed or the shortage of staff that operation secure line leaves here in Texas.
Customs and Border Protection hasn't said how many of its officers from West Texas have been deployed to Arizona and California under this operation, but nationwide 573 CBP officers and 257 Border Patrol Agents have been sent to those two states.