Border Patrol set ‘bookout’ targets to bring migrant custody numbers to ‘manageable’ levels amid new surge

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Border Patrol leadership last month set daily “bookout” targets for its sectors in order to keep escalating numbers of migrants in custody at a “manageable” level — including potentially increasing releases into the U.S. interior — as agents continue to see a rise in numbers at the southern border.

An internal Aug. 8 email from an acting deputy chief to Border Patrol field chiefs and deputies says that sectors are facing an influx that is outpacing the numbers of migrants being either released or transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for removal.

The email, obtained by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office, says daily encounters “[continue] to surpass the daily permanent bookouts and the in-custody numbers continue to rise creating significant risks to agents and detainees.”

“This level of detention numbers has also resulted in increased manpower requirements impacting border security efforts.”

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