So many undocumented and unaccompanied children are suddenly pouring into the US that the federal government has declared a 'crisis' situation and the Border Patrol is scrambling to find shelter for the children, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board has learned.
The Border Patrol says more than a thousand unaccompanied minors were arrested trying to sneak into Texas from Mexico, overwhelming the Border Patrol's holding facilities in the Rio Grande Valley. Some of the children have been shipped to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for temporary housing.
Shawn Moran, who heads the National Border Patrol Council, the association representing Border Patrol agents, says the rush of unaccompanied children saps the ability of agents to perform other jobs.
"It takes more tie, it takes more people out of the field to be able to process them, and it also takes a lot of time to make sure we follow all of the procedures that are in place," he said.
More than 60,000 unaccompanied children are expected to cross into Texas in 2014.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson last week declared a Level Four condition of readiness, which calls for opening the Lackland shelter, which can house up to 1,000 kids.
"It is a real humanitarian problem," Moran said. "It's something that our agents on the Rio Grande Valley are having to deal with on a daily basis."
Moran says some of the unaccompanied minors being seen crossing into Texas are as young as five years old.
As with the majority of adult illegal immigrants today, the majority of the children are from chaotic and incredibly mismanaged Central America, where crime, corruption, and lack of basic services and necessities are a daily problem, generally due to inept leftist governments.
It is generally a situation of immigrant smugglers trying to 'game' the system. U.S. law prohibits the Border Patrol from immediately deporting children arrested crossing the border if they are not from Mexico. Since they have to be turned over to Health and Human Services supervision, that allow them more chance to stay in the U.S., making it possible that their parents and other family members will be allowed to join them.
Many are being drive by talk of DREAM Act amnesty, where children would be allowed to have legal residence and a 'path to citizenship' in the U.S. What the corrupt smugglers don't tell the families of the children they are placing in danger is that the DREAM Act is unlikely to pass, it only covers children who came here with their illegal immigrant parents, not alone, and children have to have entered the U.S. before 2012 to be eligible for the program.