Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Immigrant children continue to surge into South Texas

Immigrant children continue to surge into South Texas: MISSION, Texas – A group of around 250 immigrants, mostly children, trotted across the U.S. border near the Anzalduas International Bridge here earlier this month and climbed atop a river levee.

Then, instead of sneaking around Border Patrol checkpoints or cramming into vans for safe houses farther north, the group did something peculiar for those crossing illegally into the USA: They squatted on the levee and awaited their arrest.

The group was part of the recent surge of unaccompanied minors who are streaming into this hot, flat stretch of South Texas, overwhelming Border Patrol facilities and sparking heated debate in Washington over what's causing the crisis and how to handle it.

One key difference the recent arrivals are displaying from their predecessors: They're not bothering to sneak deeper into Texas, opting instead to turn themselves in and allow U.S. policy toward immigrant youth decide their fate, said Chris Cabrera, a McAllen-based Border Patrol agent and vice president of the local chapter of the National Border Patrol Council.