News / USA

Large Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Creates Huge Challenge

Large Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Creates Huge Challengei
X
Greg Flakus
July 12, 2014 2:47 AM
The tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who have come across the Mexican border into the US state of Texas in recent months seeking refuge from violence and poverty represent not only a legal problem -- but a humanitarian challenge for government officials and private charities in border cities. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, Texas, the crisis is likely to continue for many more months.
Large Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Creates Huge Challenge
Greg Flakus

The tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who have come across the Mexican border into the US state of Texas in recent months seeking refuge from violence and poverty represent not only a legal problem -- but a humanitarian challenge for government officials and private charities in border cities. The crisis is likely to continue for many more months.

The influx of immigrants from Central America has been driven by the belief that if children get to the US, they will be granted immediate refugee status. While that's not true, U.S. law does require that minors from countries that don't border the U.S. cannot be sent home without a deportation hearing.

Former Border Patrol agent Carl Henderson said processing asylum seekers has stretched the patrol's limited resources.
 
"Do they need more resources? Yes. Will that stop what is going on now? No, of course not, because these people are not trying to elude the Border Patrol, they are coming across and turning themselves in," he said.

Processing time

Henderson said the US does not provide children with immediate asylum, but the processing of most cases takes months -- during which time the children and any adult family member with them can remain.
 
"Agents I know now tell me they are having a lot of pseudo-families, pretend families. A guy is coming up and he runs into some children coming up and he says, 'Here is the deal: I will be your uncle or your dad and this way we all get released,'" said Henderson.
 
In the border city of McAllen, local churches, charities and government agencies are helping immigrants who have been released while awaiting a court hearing. A Catholic nun, Sister Norma, oversees operations.

"Ever since day one we had over 200 people that we helped and from then on, every day, it is 100, 150, 200 people that we help every single day differently," she said.
 
The city of McAllen alone could spend more than half a million dollars on this emergency by the end of the year.

Financial issues

Political Science professor Mark Jones at Houston's Rice University said immigration is a federal matter, and local governments therefore will seek reimbursement.
 
"All of them are going to be sending bills to President Obama, what we have to see, though, is whether the president will be paying those bills or will cities like McAllen, counties like Cameron and Hidalgo in the state of Texas, be stuck with the bill," said Jones.
 
The president's request for nearly four billion dollars in emergency funding is tied up in politics. But Jones said even with those funds, the government is likely to lose track of children who have been processed.
 
"The federal government does not have the resources nor does it want to spend the resources tracking children. It wants to spend its limited resources, say, looking for felons who are here illegally," he said.
 
Jones said immigration courts are overwhelmed and until there is an overall reform of the system, they may get little relief.
 
 

 

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Arkansas, North Carolina have approved similar laws that gay-marriage opponents say help maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ian from: USA
July 13, 2014 6:02 PM
Mexico president Enrique Pena Nieto and Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina presumably held a joint press conference announcing a new program which will allow Guatemalan citizens to legally travel through Mexico in their effort to enter the United States illegally. The agreement grants Guatemalans 72 hours of legal status while they make their journey to the U.S.
If this is true , it is a blatant assault on our country .
We should immediately announce that we will deduct from the amount from the foreign aid to Mexico ( which is many hundred of millions) for the cost to process and send each illegal alien back .

by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
July 13, 2014 4:33 AM
Erecting altitudinous wall across our common border with our southern neighbor Mexico is very very different in comparison with that of our friendly state Israel or in the war torn Afghanistan. The illegal entrants into our southern states that do border Mexico - in our governmental immigration legislations such a problem can be dealt with. Clearly, accurately defining a problem that is half solved. Our federal govt. must endeavor to act with Mexican govt.;and, the very south American states like Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. In this problematic perview, our federal govt. and the govts. of the infiltrated states must collectvely think and act how this illegal infiltration menace can be curbed for ever. The central and the south Amercan states are not the volatile zones like Middle East or the AfPak sector in the south Asia that would warrant our defense showdown. The illegal migrants problem that we do face......... it is not like the Syrian civilians fleeing to the neighboring states like Jordan, Israel........... The undocumented children who do enter into ours ......for us, it is a humanitarian problem but thei very home states in the south America, from where this sort of exodus do take place........ may be, there do remain gang fights.... it is upto such govts. to solve their domestic crises instead of setting this sort of illegal migration trends into our territory thereby crating a humanitarian crisis that our govt., our people, our economy.......... to bear. And, certainly, there does remain laxity on behalf of our southern neighbor Mexico that acts as a conduit channel for these illegal immigrants into ours. The Mexican southern border that touches the central Amercan states should be properly vigiled, restricted against such illegal immigrations into the Mexican territory. In thi regard, our govt. has got to deal with Mexico as well as the very sources of illegal immigrations into ours.

by: meanbill from: USA
July 12, 2014 11:48 AM
Instead of arresting the illegals, and incarcerating them, give all the illegals (one way) bus tickets to Washington DC, Chicago IL, San Francisco, or Los Angeles California, with a hundred dollars to eat on.... (and then), the politicians just may speed up building the Mexican border fence?..... and if they send them back, or they come back, give them another (one way) bus ticket, it'd be a lot cheaper than dealing with them, wouldn't it be?..... Oh, give them a small English translation book too? ... that's humane?

by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
July 12, 2014 11:17 AM
It is mindboggling as the illegal migrants of the South and Central American states do enter into my home state Texas en masse. To get them all under immigration laws has become problematic even. Our Governer, Rick Perry should have touch with our president and our federal govt. as this illegal immigration menace can be totally curbed......... The very states in the Central and South America, all these illegal migrants do enter into my state and our southern bordering states passing through our our southern neighbor Mexico, do nothing for this sort of exodus. And, the safe corridor the illegal migrants do avail through our neighborly state Mexico, the governmental authorities do nothing to stopping them from entering into our territory. Urgent actions are necessary to reverse this illegal trend as America is not a safe heaven for any kind of illegal immigrations.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
July 12, 2014 12:58 PM
Why can't the US government build the barrier walls like Israel does to seal the Mexican border once and for all, or build those (30) foot high blast-proof walls that US troops hid behind in Iraq and Afghanistan?.... Yea, that'd be better than forever supporting the Mexican border crossing illegals, wouldn't it be?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More