Arizona Still Struggling with Shipment of Foreign Children from Texas Border
The federal government is unable to accommodate the flood of illegal aliens that have "overwhelmed" the Texas-Mexico border. As a result, the State of Arizona and its residents must accommodate many of the new illegal immigrants.
Thousands of illegal immigrants were recently sent from Texas to Arizona-based holding facilities, which have become overcrowded. Now state officials have been forced to resort to a makeshift housing center in Nogales, Arizona for hundreds of illegal immigrant children. Arizona officials are in dire need of medical supplies and living materials for the illegal immigrants, according to The Associate Press (AP).
Federal agents began sending illegal immigrants to Arizona after a sharp spike in illegal immigration caused Texas-based facilities to become overwhelmed. Texas' Rio Grande Valley area has seen the most significant increase in illegal crossings in recent months--there, more than 1,000 illegal immigrants are apprehended by Border Patrol agents each day.
The AP reported that children at the new housing center in Nogales are sleeping on plastic cots while officials wait for 2,000 mattresses to arrive at the facility. Portable toilets and showers were also allegedly brought to warehouse, which has a capacity of 1,500. 800 children are expected to be living at the housing center by the end of this weekend, but the AP reported that 1,400 minors will ultimately be brought there.
According to Breitbart Texas' contributing editor and border security expert Sylvia Longmire, the Arizona state government is being forced to accommodate the illegal immigrants since the federal government has not handled the situation appropriately.
"What's most telling about the severity of this situation is the fact that both Republicans and Democrats are criticizing President Obama for the way his administration has been handling this crisis," Longmire said. "US Rep. Raúl Grijalva, probably the most liberal congressman in Arizona, acknowledged to Arizona Public Media that even he wasn't notified about the immigrant transfer to his state, and said the Obama administration was not handling the situation appropriately."
She continued, "By declaring this a 'humanitarian crisis,' President Obama places this situation on the border on equal footing with a natural disaster, especially since he's called in FEMA to assist. But what should the US President be doing in the wake of a strong hurricane, earthquake, or wildfire? He speaks to the American people to provide them with the extent of the damage and explain exactly what their government is doing to help. He visits the disaster areas and meets with the families. He speaks in person with the agencies dealing with the crisis and offers whatever federal help is needed. However, Obama has not spoken publicly about this situation since he labeled it a crisis almost a week ago, and has not acknowledged the uproar caused by the tragic photos Breitbart Texas released on Thursday of immigrant children packed into Border Patrol stations like sardines."
But Obama isn't the only one who has been silent--DHS officials haven't spoken out on the matter, either.
"This stubborn silence is also being passed down to DHS, which canceled a press conference in Laredo last week mere minutes before a Border Patrol spokesman was about to address the situation," Longmire said. "DHS is also not allowing the press to interview doctors and nurses who are treating sick illegal immigrants at the stations, nor take any tours of the facilities. Either the White House wants this tragedy to expand even further as a way to justify its own immigration reform agenda, or it is demonstrating even more ineptitude in how it's handling this crisis that is largely by its own doing."
Reports state that authorities hope to eventually use the Nogales-based facility as a medical checkpoint for children, who--subsequent to being treated for any illness and infections--would be sent to other processing centers in states like California, Texas, and Oklahoma.
There have already been incidents where apprehended illegal immigrants have passed diseases on to federal agents. As Breitbart Texas reported, several Texas Border Patrol agents recently contracted scabies from contact with detained illegal immigrants. Overcrowding in processing facilities has made it difficult to identify and quarantine infected detainees. Many are concerned that scabies and other illnesses may be passed onto the general public.
Many of the new immigrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are from Central or South America--deporting such individuals has proven more difficult than deporting Mexican crossers. Thousands of such illegal immigrants are simply released onto U.S. soil each week. Some of the released aliens are even criminals--as Breitbart Texas previously reported, more than 36,000 convicted criminal illegal aliens were released by U.S. authorities in 2013 alone.
The sharp increase in illegal immigration shows no signs of slowing down. Word has apparently spread in Central and South America that aliens are being released at a rapid rate--this could be encouraging more families and individuals to make the dangerous trip north.
Nora Griselda Bercian Diaz, a mother from Guatemala who crossed into the U.S. illegally with her 6-year-old daughter, told local media outlet KRGV that the message being spread in her home country is, "Go to America with your child, you won't be turned away."
Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently told Breitbart Texas that the Obama Administration's "lawlessness" is responsible for the recent sharp increase in illegal immigration.
"We need a president who is willing to uphold the law," Cruz said. "On issue after issue the Obama Administration has openly ignored, defied, and unilaterally tried to change the law. With respect to securing the border, the Obama Administration has handcuffed the courageous men and women who serve in Border Patrol. Morale in ICE is at an all-time low because the political operatives leading this Administration are preventing them from doing their job and upholding the law."
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.