The Tucson Sentinel reports that more “family units” are crossing the border illegally and seeking help at temporary shelters in the Rio Grande Valley. “It doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon,” said Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. “[The Border Patrol] considered the fact that we’re here and we’re prepared to receive them.”
“The numbers increased a lot this past month, almost to 100 every day [last week],” Pimentel told the Sentinel. “We have seen some that have already been caught and tried again. Pimentel plans to turn her temporary shelter into a permanent facility after Christmas.
During fiscal year 2014 Border Patrol Agents in the Rio Grande Valley apprehended about 52,300 family units, which usually means a parent and one or more children. That is a 500 percent increase over fiscal year 2013. The most recent data indicate the number of family unites apprehended in October and November of this year (3,360) are comparable to the number for the same period last year (3,430). Under Obama Administration policy family units are typically released to the local shelter rather than deported, and given orders to appear before an immigration judge near their destination of choice. Some remain in Texas while others travel to cities across the country.
In addition, Border Patrol Agents in the Valley apprehended about 50,000 alien minors in fiscal year 2014. The most recent data for October and November suggest the number of alien minors have declined to 3,220 from about 5,460 during the same period last year. The Administration has chosen to turn these UACs over to the Department of Health and Human Services for care even though they do not qualify as unaccompanied alien children under the law.
As the Sentinel notes national attention is no longer focused on the border surge but that will change “should the numbers continue to creep up.”
Read more in the Tucson Sentinel.