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U.S. authorities transferring migrants entering through Canada to El Paso Sector

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection said groups of recently apprehended migrants in the Canadian-U.S. Border have been transferred to the El Paso Sector.

Migrants are being flown to different sectors in Texas to help address a rise in illegal border crossings through Canada, as first reported by Reuters.

According to CBP, there were 34 Mexican nationals on the flights from the Swanton Sector to El Paso.

"These transfers are done to decompress facilities and better utilize resources and personnel," said CBP spokeswoman Yolanda Choates.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said the Mexican nationals are then deported back to their country.

Samaniego said most migrants assume they won't get caught if they enter the United States through Canada, but he said that isn't true.

"Now they are realizing, and the minute they are deported they pay a penalty of not being able to come into the United States because now they are tagged you know they crossed illegally," Samaniego said.

He also said it isn't uncommon for migrants to flow into the El Paso Sector to help decompress other areas. Samaniego said this is common because El Paso officials understand how to efficiently process the migrants.

"We know how to get them back to where they should be and we have a great collaboration so I feel they are comfortable bringing them into El Paso," Samaniego added.

Thomas Cartwright, an immigrant advocate, told ABC-7 he has firsthand witnessed migrants getting off of these planes and into buses.

Cartwright said he quickly began to track how frequently these "deportation" flights are happening across the country.

"I over the years have developed a methodology of being able to track all the flights," he said.

Cartwright said this is all to deter migrants from entering the United States. He said there has been an increase in migrants crossing into the Northern Border.

"That is a very expensive plane ride for a plane that is a third-full."

Cartwright says by U.S. authorities transferring migrants sends a message.

"I think that this was to send a message in some respects that if you do try and cross from Canada to the United States it could be that you are put on a plane and brought back to the Southern Border," he said.

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Rosemary Montañez

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