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

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs