EL PASO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Trump administration says it may pull as many as 2,000 inspectors from border crossings to handle a surge of families arriving at the U.S.- Mexico border, many of them Central American asylum seekers.
The temporary reassignments, up from 750 inspectors previously, threatens to slow the movement of trucks bringing televisions, medical devices and other goods to the U.S. It also could create delays for cross-border commuters who come for work and school.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday the reassignments are necessary to help manage a massive influx of migrants straining the system and overflowing border facilities.
The administration is also ramping up its efforts to return asylum seekers to Mexico, and planning to expand the program to other areas beyond the Calexico and El Paso ports in Texas and the San Ysidro port in California.
If the U.S.-Mexican border is shutdown the movement of hundreds of thousands of people would be affected as nearly 50 border crossings would be closed for entry and exit.
The closure would also mean that more than $1.5 billion in goods and services that cross each day would be blocked.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)