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Outrage in Arizona: US dumps hundreds of illegal migrant kids in AZ warehouses

Published time: June 08, 2014 10:58
Migrants, consisting of mostly women and children, who just disembarked from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus wait for a Greyhound official to process their tickets to their next destination at a Greyhound bus station in Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2014. (Reuters / Samantha Sais)

Migrants, consisting of mostly women and children, who just disembarked from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus wait for a Greyhound official to process their tickets to their next destination at a Greyhound bus station in Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2014. (Reuters / Samantha Sais)

Arizona is scrambling to cope with over 1,000 children caught crossing the border illegally in Texas. As outrage mounts, Homeland Security is sending mattresses and portable toilets. But even after release, the migrants’ woes are far from over.

In what appears to be a serious lack of communication on the part of the US federal government, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer expressed outrage after she learned Friday that 432 unaccompanied illegal children – caught while attempting to cross the US border into Texas – were transported to a holding facility in Nogales.

"I am disturbed and outraged that President Obama's administration continues to implement this dangerous and inhumane policy," Brewer said in a written statement.

"Not only does the federal government have no plan to stop this disgraceful policy, it also has no plan to deal with the endless waves of illegal aliens once they are released here."

Another 700 children were scheduled to be transported from Texas to the Arizona facility over the weekend. Following their brief holdover, the detainees – many of them women, children and unaccompanied juveniles – are abandoned without food and water.

Homeland Security officials defended their actions, saying the families were transported to Nogales from Texas because the Border Patrol did not have the necessary resources to process the wave of illegal immigrants crossing into the US from Central America.

Last month, the Border Patrol was overwhelmed by a surge of undocumented immigrants crossing the border illegally in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, including more than 48,000 children traveling on their own, the AP reported.

Migrants, consisting of mostly women and children, disembark from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus at a Greyhound bus station in Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2014. (Reuters / Samantha Sais)

Jimena Díaz, consul general of Guatemala in Phoenix, visited the center on Friday and said there were some 250 children from Guatemala, with the rest coming from El Salvador and Honduras, the Arizona Daily Star reported Saturday.

Diaz told the newspaper that the children – mostly between the ages of 15 and 17 – are being kept in separate groups, divided by age and gender. Teenage mothers with their children are also being held separately, he said.

The Obama administration plans to use the facility in Nogales as a “way station,” where, following vaccinations and medical check-ups, the children will be flown to facilities being set up in various cities, including Ventura, Calif., Fort Sill, Okla., and San Antonio, the AP reported.

A Homeland Security official told The Associated Press that about 2,000 mattresses have been ordered for the makeshift holding center – a warehouse that has not been used to shelter people in years. Meanwhile, portable toilets and showers were delivered Saturday to the facility.

Raising Arizona’s impatience

Earlier this week, Governor Brewer, who said she only found out about the program through media reports, published the text of a letter she wrote to President Obama, warning him of the humanitarian risk involved in such actions.

"I remind you that the daytime temperatures in Arizona during this time of year are regularly more than 100 degrees," she wrote. "Consequently, this federal operation seems to place expediency over basic humanitarian concerns."

Saying that Arizona’s law enforcement agencies, health care providers and nonprofit organizations are “stretched to the breaking point” attempting to handle the influx, Brewer blamed the failure on a “broken immigration system.”

“Our nation and the State of Arizona face significant challenges stemming from your administration’s refusal to carry out its responsibility to secure our country’s southern border,” she wrote. "This unwarranted operation is another disturbing example of a deliberate failure to enforce border security policies and repair a broken immigration system."

Migrants, consisting of mostly women and children, who just disembarked from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus wait for a Greyhound official to process their tickets to their next destination at a Greyhound bus station in Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2014. (Reuters / Samantha Sais)
Previously, illegal aliens from Central America were held in detention facilities before being returned to their native countries. Homeland Security officials say the new illegal arrivals being released will remain under supervision and are still subject to deportation.

Immigrant families were flown from Texas, released in Arizona, and told to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office near where they were traveling within 15 days.

However, it was never explained how the government expects to track thousands of undocumented migrants, or how much it would cost taxpayers to carry out such an ambitious task.

Meanwhile, something of a humanitarian crisis is brewing at the warehouses where the new arrivals are being held until their release.

Gov. Brewer's spokesman, Andrew Wilder, said Friday that conditions at the facilities are so dire that federal officials have asked the state to send medical supplies to the facility in Nogales.

At the way station, private service providers are being contracted to supply meals, according to US Customs and Border Protection officials. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide “counseling services and recreational activities.”

The Homeland Security official told AP that the number of children at the warehouse was expected to double to around 1,400. The warehouse has a capacity of about 1,500, the official said.

ICE has said the illegal migrants were mostly families from Central America escaping extreme poverty and violence in their countries.

Migrants, consisting of mostly women and children, who just disembarked from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus wait for a Greyhound official to process their tickets to their next destination at a Greyhound bus station in Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2014. (Reuters / Samantha Sais)

Comments (86)

 

Mee Sah 11.07.2014 04:01

Regula, who cares if they are tired and whatever. They need to follow the procedures we have in place to become a citizen...

This is an INVASION and needs to be dealt with as such. Why are Americans inhospitable? Because they are invading our country. If they were to come via the processes we have in place, then I would have no problem...But they are not and need to be shot as soon as they touch American soil.

What would happen if you tried to illegally cross a border overseas, especially in a middle eastern country?

Sa me should be here. I have no empathy for these people as my DAD came here by the LEGAL process.

 

Darcy Freeman 23.06.2014 10:06

USA Borders are different from Overseas. So, for this many children to walk across the desert on there own would mean what? Also, looking at the photo's the children are not all Mexican.

 

Vai 22.06.2014 03:08

Marie Blackmore 20.06.2014 23:23

?..Yes, we should send all the illegals back, you will see, that the American people will be paying taxes out of the ying yang to support these stupid illegals.

  


Then could you stop buying billions of dollars worth of drugs per year, stop companies like TacoBell from buying farm produce made with tax free labor, and take some of that precious tax money from the wars you country has started and possibly fix the economy because hundreds of retail stores have already closed this year with hundreds more to go.

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