Trump Pulls Back Plan to Fly Migrants Cross-Country

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The Trump administration was considering flying asylum-seeking families at the southern U.S. border across the U.S. to have their initial claims processed but that plan seems to have run aground. For months, authorities have been shuttling newly arrested migrants—mostly families and children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador—between border stations. Migrants have been bussed hundreds of miles from the border in Southern California or El Paso, Tx., to as far away as Tucson, Az., before authorities process and then release them to aid groups. As of last week, plans were being laid for air transportation of parents and children to other locations, if the flow of families doesn’t diminish, a Customs and Border Protection official told the Wall Street Journal. “This is an emergency. The entire system is overwhelmed,” the official said. “We are just trying to safely get them out of our facilities as quickly as possible.”

Border Patrol officials have flown nearly 1,000 migrants from overcrowded processing centers and stations in the Rio Grande Valley to nearby Del Rio, Tx., and San Diego since May 10. The private flights have cost between $21,000 and $65,000 each and can carry a maximum of 135 people. Last week, Mark Bogen, mayor of Broward County, Fl., was told by local law-enforcement to expect as many as 135 migrants to be flown to the area and released after their asylum claims are processed. President Trump on Sunday said it would not happen. “There are no plans to send migrants to northern or Coastal Border facilities, including Florida,” Trump wrote on Twitter, the Associated Press reports. After the Florida flight plan was attacked by local leaders, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Sunday that Florida and other places in the interior were no longer in consideration.

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