The Department of Homeland Security this week renewed its call for volunteers within the agency to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with migrant processing and other related tasks at the southern border amid reports migrant crossings are again on the rise.
An internal memo sent to staff by acting Deputy Secretary Kristie Canegallo and obtained by Fox News Digital says that while there have been “positive trends” at the border since the end of Title 42 in May, “we need to remain vigilant and prepared for evolving trends and future increases in migration.”
“To support this critical mission, I ask that you consider registering to be part of the DHS Volunteer Force (VF),” it said.
The email says that registering does not mean immediate deployment “but it does signal that you are willing to be part of the team of volunteers who could be called upon to assist in a time of need.”
The email says the agency is looking for “general support and data entry volunteers to perform non-law enforcement and logistics tasks to help our CBP colleagues at the Southwest border.”
General support can include meal distribution, warehouse work, file tracking, entering migrant data entry and transcription.
It marks the latest in a number of such requests by the administration, which also put out multiple calls in 2021 and 2022. DHS says that the Volunteer Force, along with the Surge Capacity Force, are important ways the workforce can support the department’s response capabilities.
A DHS official said those programs have been “incredibly successful,” and the department is encouraging more of the workforce to participate. It said ensuring the agency’s operational readiness means filling critical roles before they are needed.
It marks the latest sign of growing preparedness by DHS for a potential increase in numbers at the border. While overall CBP migrant numbers went down between May and June, The Washington Post reported this week that initial numbers show a 30% increase in July.
At the border, only 1,100 of 1,500 active-duty troops are returning to home base after a 90-day mission is completed, and 400 are being extended until the end of the month.
Fox News Digital also reported this week that ICE is increasing the number of special agents at the border from 60 to 200 due to an increase in migrant numbers.