The DHS announced that it will begin to carry on intelligence and monitoring of the members of the migrant caravans that are heading to the southern border of the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the creation of a new intelligence monitoring unit with the aim of monitoring the movement of migrant caravans that move to seek asylum at the southern border of the United States. The move is a response to the Haitian migrant caravan that surprised border agents last month when it unexpectedly arrived in Del Rio, Texas.
The goal of this initiative is to increase the operational capacity of DHS to prepare for future migrant caravans in 2021. This new intelligence system is expected to be operational by the end of this month, according to department officials.
“DHS recently developed a new analytical effort that combines law enforcement and intelligence resources to enhance our ability to operationally prepare for the large numbers of migrants that may arrive along the southwestern border.”A DHS spokesperson stated in a statement.
Biometric data and social networks in the crosshairs of the DHS
With the collaboration of local agents in the countries of the region, DHS will collect biometric information (such as fingerprints and face recognition data) as migrant caravans approach the United States. In addition to increasing security and control, the effort aims to advance the distribution of resources at the southern border.
The operation will be carried out jointly by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Coast Guard. This new intelligence unit will work every day to analyze information from different state and local sources, foreign governments, and social networks to better anticipate large events at the border and the arrival of migrant caravans like the one that recently arrived in Del Rio.
International cooperation to increase security at the southern border
In the same spirit, DHS is seeking to improve communication and coordination with other countries in the region, such as Mexico, El Salvador, Haiti, Guatemala, and Honduras. In some cases, these efforts are even expected to include expanded information-sharing agreements to enhance intelligence work.
“Oftentimes, foreign governments in different countries may have information related to the large-scale movement of migrants to the United States. We need to be able to collect it and analyze it effectively. “The DHS spokesperson insisted.
The measure is a response to the large caravans of Haitian migrants that arrived unexpectedly last month. These migrants converged under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, without giving border agents enough time to prepare and provide the necessary accommodation, transportation, and other essential logistics.
“All year long there has been a constant flow across the border. We have had a constant overcapacity but we did not foresee that 20,000 people would all show up together in a matter of days, it was a veritable caravan of migrants. Obviously, a better awareness of the situation in Mexico is needed. I don’t think the 120 buses have gone unnoticed there”.A CBP official commented on the Del Rio situation.
DHS will also use the new intelligence cell to improve the monitoring of criminal groups and strengthen programs such as Operation Sentinel, an anti-smuggling operation designed to map the networks of organizations that smuggle drugs and people illegally on the southern border.
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