Arizona senators urge US to keep officers at border ports

PHOENIX (AP) - U.S. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally are asking the Trump administration to shelve plans to transfer numerous Customs and Border Protection officers from Arizona ports of entry to do other work to help cope with the recent surge of migrants.

A joint statement released Tuesday by the senators says the officers are needed at the ports to maintain the flow of trade, keep illegal drugs and other items from crossing the border and to "help strengthen the morale of CBP's workforce."

The administration has said it is reassigning officers who normally screen cargo and vehicles at ports to instead process migrants by taking their applications for asylum and transporting them to holding centers.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says the influx of migrants is overloading the system.