The Homeland Security Department has ruled out shipping illegal immigrants from the overwhelmed border to other locations such as Buffalo and Florida to be processed and released, the acting secretary said Sunday.
Kevin McAleenan said the department had been considering it, but decided it makes more sense to continue to try to process and release them at the border, rather than spread the pain to other communities who so far have been immune to the border crisis.
That was a reversal from Friday, when a border official told reporters they were in fact looking “across the entire nation” for places to ship the migrants for processing.
It also eased the worries of officials in Florida and along the northern border, who’d been contacted and told they may be in line to handle some of the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants surging into the U.S. each week.
The fact that officials were pondering the idea is a sign of how overwhelmed the border is.
Several border communities have declared states of emergency, saying they no longer can handle the people being caught then released into their communities.
Homeland Security officials say what they’re seeing at the border is unprecedented.