Hundreds of TSA agents will reportedly be sent to the border this summer to help immigration officials as the influx of migrants skyrockets to a 12-year high - and the agency just gave a cryptic warning about what the staffing shortage will mean for security during the busy travel season
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to send as many as 575 employees to the southern border to assist immigration officials, according to a new CNN report.
- The TSA reportedly does not plan to send workers from airport security checkpoints at the outset.
- "We also understand that we are accepting some risk as we enter a very busy summer," Gary Renfrow, a senior TSA official, wrote in an internal email, according to CNN.
- Border apprehensions are now at their highest point since 2007, as over 100,000 people were apprehended at the southern border in both March and April.
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The TSA reportedly does not plan to send workers from airport security checkpoints at the outset, though the agency said in an internal email that the reassignments do pose "some risk" of affecting its operations. Up to 175 law enforcement officials and 400 people described in an email obtained by CNN as "security ops" will take temporary assignments at the southern border for between 45 to 60 days with the potential for longer deployments, according to CNN.
Some areas of the TSA will reportedly lose 10% of their employees due to the temporary reassignments.
Among those expected to be temporarily reassigned are air marshals and Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) workers, who monitor airports, train stations, and other busy transportation centers, according to the CNN report. Air marshal and VIPR operations will reportedly take personnel hits of around 8% and 20%, respectively.
Gary Renfrow, a senior TSA official, said in an internal email that there is an "immediate need" for the TSA's assistance at the southwestern border, according to CNN.
"We also understand that we are accepting some risk as we enter a very busy summer," Renfrow reportedly wrote in an internal email to TSA management.
Border apprehensions are now at their highest point since 2007, as over 100,000 people were apprehended at the southern border in both March and April. The National Guard and Customs and Border Protection have also moved employees to the border, according to CNN.
"TSA, like all [Department of Homeland Security] components, is supporting the DHS effort to address the humanitarian and security crisis at the southwest border," a TSA representative told CNN. "TSA is in the process of soliciting volunteers to support this effort while minimizing operational impact."
The TSA and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to Business Insider's requests for comment.