About 150 Border Patrol agents will be deployed to South Texas from Arizona, California and elsewhere to help process a spike in immigrants who have been apprehended after illegally entering the U.S., federal officials announced Saturday.

Agents from Tucson, Arizona, and San Diego will be temporarily reassigned to the Rio Grande Valley, and agents working another portion of the Texas border will join them, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.

The additional agents will assist with screening and processing immigrants taken into custody along the border, many of whom are unaccompanied children and families.

Hundreds of thousands of people have sought asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border in the last two years, and the majority are Central American families who often turn themselves in as opposed to mostly Mexican men trying to evade capture, according to a federal report obtained last month by The Associated Press.

 Since 2014, the Rio Grande Valley has led the nation as the region with the most apprehensions of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally. Asylum seekers, many of them fleeing drug-fueled violence south of the border, peaked in 2014 at 170,000, nearly triple the 63,000 who arrived the previous year. Before 2012, there were fewer than 30,000 a year.
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