Texas Border-Region Leaders Demand Response from Feds on Crisis
HOUSTON, Texas -- As waves of abandoned children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are flooding across the Texas/Mexico border at unprecedented levels, state officials in the Texas Rio Grande Valley (RGV) area are calling on the federal government to respond to what has been labeled a "humanitarian crisis."
According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the Rio South Texas Economic Council (RSTEC) asked that the federal government respond to the illegal immigration wave and provide more assistance.
Eduardo Campirano, RSTEC's chairman, said on Monday, "Our public servants in the Rio Grande Valley that are working for the federal agencies need more help. The people we see crossing now appear to be refugees from Central America and Mexico and sound like they are running for their lives. The fact that such a high percentage of them are children and are not from Mexico is an indication there is a critical situation that requires an immediate response."
It is likely that Camprirano's plea will be met with silence; the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have not openly communicated many specifics regarding the crisis to the public.
Breitbart Texas' contributing editor and border security expert Sylvia Longmire said, "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 U.S. 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 Brandon Darby released on Breitbart Texas of foreign children packed into Border Patrol stations like sardines."
Longmire continued, "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 ... 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."
RGV Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Tirado told Breitbart Texas that his sector is currently apprehending more than 1,000 illegal immigrants per day. Many of the detainees are unaccompanied children seeking amnesty in the U.S.
Texas-based facilities have become so overwhelmed by the sharp increase in illegal immigration that federal agents have been sending waves of them from Texas to other facilities across the nation. Earlier this week, Breitbart Texas reported on the Arizona-based makeshift housing center, which is expected to hold 1,400 minors in the coming days.
According to the San Antonio Business Journal, federal law requires that children be given refugee status if they have no relatives in the U.S.
It is unclear how U.S. officials and facilities will keep up with the increasing number of immigrants crossing the border illegally. Unless significant policy changes are made in a transparent manner, the number of foreign nationals crossing the U.S. border illegally will likely continue to climb.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.