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

    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 As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.