The temporary processing facilities in Donna, Texas, February 25, 2021.
CNN  — 

Nearly a dozen retired Border Patrol chiefs implored congressional leadership Wednesday to provide additional resources and take steps to reform the US immigration system, calling the number of minors arriving at the US-Mexico border “unprecedented,” according to a letter shared with CNN.

“The patchwork system in place continues to fail us all,” the chiefs, who served in the agency in both Democratic and Republican administrations, wrote.

The letter – the first of its kind – indicates the urgency of the situation along the southern border from the perspective of officials who experienced previous surges firsthand.

“This is a problem we’ve had for many years. Look back at 2014 with the unaccompanied children crisis. We didn’t have the infrastructure then. We definitely were suffering from that same problem under the prev