CBP: Transfers of undocumented immigrants happens on a 'regular basis'

PHOENIX - Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement released more information Tuesday regarding the transfer of several apprehended immigrants from Texas to Arizona .

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection Tucson Sector is assisting with the processing of apprehended immigrants, many of whom are family units, apprehended in South Texas," said Lori K. Haley, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security in a joint-released statement.

Hundreds of people have been bussed from Tucson to a Greyhound station in Phoenix. An official said this is routine procedure, however, typically involves smaller numbers of individuals.

Local organizations have been providing food, water and cell phones to individuals so they can get in contact with family to make travel arrangements. Volunteers have even opened up their homes to offer people a place to stay until they can secure a ticket to their final destination.

Haley said most of the families who crossed the Texas border were from Central America and Mexico.

The Department said that these transfers between Border Patrol sectors happen on a "regular basis to allow CBP to manage flows and processing capability."

These flights are managed by the Ice Air Operation, which is the transportation arm of ICE. In 2013, according to the Department's online report , the department averaged 43 flights per week.

She said each individual is screened and biometrics are taken and put into the system at the Tucson sector. She said each individual is subject to removal; however, individuals may not always be detained while that is determined.

Once processed, cases will be referred to ICE where they will be assigned to an office closest to an address provided by the individual. Individuals will then be required to check in with that ICE field office within 15 days, she said.

Haley said that ICE began transporting processed families to the Tucson Greyhound station over the Memorial Day weekend. This includes individuals who have bonded out of immigration detention, prevail in their court cases or are granted parole.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer penned a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday saying it is "especially disconcerting that (the United States Department of Homeland Security) instituted this operation without any notification to my office, the Arizona Department of Public Safety or the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. We instead learned of this action from the news media."

Read the full letter on abc15.com.

Brewer also expressed her concern for the well-being of the individuals being exposed to Arizona's triple-digit temperatures without food or water.

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