MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hundreds of border agents from the north will temporarily head south to help with the rush of migrants along Mexico’s border. The moves are raising concerns along the Canadian line, including what it could mean for Minnesota.

At least one Minnesota lawmaker is urging the Department of Homeland Security not to make the move.

Under the plan, 731 Customs and Border Patrol officers from ports around the country will move south as agents struggle with record numbers, nearly 100,000 people last month alone trying to get into the United States from Mexico.

For security reasons, the Department of Homeland Security won’t say from where those agents will be pulled, but ahead of a busy summer travel season between Minnesota and Canada, tourists can’t help but wonder what it might mean.

Last summer, WCCO went behind-the-scenes to see what it takes for 200 agents to keep tabs on 550 miles of Minnesota’s northern border from land, water and air.

The state’s busiest border crossings are in International Falls, Grand Portage, Baudette and Warroad. In Warroad, agents have the added challenge of patrolling the Warroad River, which empties into the one-million-acre Lake of the Woods.

On Friday, bipartisan members of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus – including Minnesota’s Collin Peterson – asked the Department of Homeland Security to rescind the transfer, saying the move will cause excessive delays at crossings and expose the nation to security risks.

In a statement from a Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson, the agency says while the Southwest border security and humanitarian crisis are impacting operations, they’re working to mitigate the effects as much as possible.

CBP says travelers should plan accordingly and check the CBP wait times page for up-to-date border crossing information.

Liz Collin

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