The Yuma Sector of the United States Border Patrol welcomed 50 new agents from various sectors Monday.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the new agents began their detail as part of Operation Secure Line. They will supplement current border patrol staff operations as migrant caravans continue to arrive along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Year to date apprehensions in the Yuma Sector are up almost 150 percent compared to last year. Fiscal year 2018 numbers are more than double 2017.
Jose Garibay is the public affairs officer for the Yuma Sector. He says agents in the sector are overwhelmed.
"So now we're really starting to get hit with these individuals," he says. "It has really put a strain on our resources that are out here and kind of forced us into this unfunded humanitarian mission."
Garibay says with limited resources agents are doing more than just working to secure the border. For example, he says, when migrants are injured as they attempt to cross into the United States over border walls and other barriers, agents are taken off the border to accompany them to medical providers.
"When the come off the wall they break their ankles, or their legs or arms, or any number of other injuries," Garibay says. "So now our agents instead of being out on the line patrolling the border, now in addition to that they're having to be at the hospital for eight, nine, ten hours."
The lenth of the new agent's tours will vary depending on mission requirements.