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Migrants caught crossing the US-Mexico border are loaded into a transport van by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Image

Three hundred Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are being sent to two of the busiest sections of the U.S.-Mexico border to help overwhelmed counterparts, three government sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Why it matters: The southern border falls far outside of ICE's regular mission. The deployment comes as early reports suggest a record month for border crossings in July. The agents are expected to start using ankle bracelets to track migrants released without a court date.

The Border Patrol has been so overrun in places like South Texas that tens of thousands of migrants have been released without an immigration court date, instead told to report to an ICE office at their final destination.

Between the lines: The 300 reinforcements will be sent to the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio sectors. The exact timing of their arrival is still unclear, but the sources said it's imminent.

  • Among other things, ICE will help process migrants after they are taken into U.S. custody — a task of collecting basic information that at times has pulled half of the Rio Grande Valley's regular agents off of patrolling the border, officials have told Axios.
  • The ICE agents will begin placing ankle bracelets on some of these migrants who are released without official notice to appear in court, a Department of Homeland Security official confirmed to Axios.
  • That's seen as an extra incentive for them to show up at an ICE office once they reach their final destination.
  • NBC News first reported ICE would help process migrant families.

What to watch: It's unusual for ICE to get involved at the border. The agency does oversee a network of detention centers for migrant families and adults once they are out of Customs and Border Protection custody.

  • ICE also is looking into expanding its South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, to be able to hold more migrant families, the DHS official confirmed.
  • The facility is run by the for-profit prison company CoreCivic. Biden has promised to end for-profit detention centers.
  • Space to hold families will be critical for carrying out fast-track deportations, which the administration recently resumed.

Be smart: The number of encounters with migrant families illegally crossing the border is expected to spike during July and fewer are expected to be kicked back to Mexico under a Trump-era public health order.

Go deeper

DHS secretary orders ICE to halt mass workplace raids

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday issued a memo ordering U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop mass worksite raids.

Driving the news: Mayorkas said the Biden administration would instead focus on pursuing employers who hire and take advantage of immigrants without work authorizations, rather than the employees.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

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