Border patrol struggles with overflow of illegal immigrants
POSTED: Monday, June 9, 2014 - 5:32pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 12:42pm
(KETK) --- — KETK News has obtained anonymous video from a viewer in our sister market at KVEO-TV in Brownsville, Texas of just how bad the immigration crisis is at the Texas/Mexico border near the Rio Grande Valley.
In an interview with Chris Cabrera, the vice president of the U.S. National Border Patrol Council in Brownsville, KETK news has learned that particular border community near Brownsville is becoming a popular place for mass surrenders by undocumented immigrants, mainly, from Central America.
Cabrera tells KETK News, "We are seeing an increase in women and children, and women and children together and separately." Cabrera says a group of 250 illegal immigrants surrendered to Border Patrol agents just south of Granjeno, last week. The week prior to that, Cabrera confirms that another group of 100 immigrants also surrendered themselves at the exact same location.
Many of the detainees are not from Mexico, however, but are from Central American countries like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, "The reason they're coming or at least why we believe they are coming they've been told in their home country weather it be through media (ads), or word of mouth of friends that have already made it up here that if they come up here, that the United States won't turn them away if they're traveling as a family or a young kid by themselves." Cabrera said.
Many of the illegal immigrants are women and children seeking what they believe may be 'legal' asylum in the United States. Cabrera said in many cases they are seeking asylum in a sense, "It's true in a sense, we bring them in, we process them, and then we send them out the other door. Once they get through they call back to their family and friends and say 'hey, it's wide open come on in.' which is just compounding the problem" Often times Cabrera says the immigrants being held are released into the United States, "We're going to bring them in we're going to process them, and ultimately if we decide to let them go, and most of them do get let go, then they'll be given a notice to appear to go see a judge, but most of them don't show up from that hearing." Cabrera said.
With little to no resources to provide food and shelter to the young children being detained, Cabrera said the immigration 'issue' is rapidly becoming a crisis. "If we continue to let people in the way we are now, we're going to be serverly overcrowded here and empty everywhere else." Cabrera said.
Due to the overwhelming amount of undocumented immigrants being held in border detention centers in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, last week President Obama approved FEMA to render aide to the women, men and children being held. KETK News has also confirmed there are non-profit groups offering legal aide to children who need representation in immigration court.
In addition to the immigration problem KETK News has confirmed the CDC is concerned with an outbreak of disease like MERSA, Scabies, and other infectious diseases. Therefore President Obama has also approved vaccinations be sent to border detention facilities.