Recent media reports have focused on the thousands of children flooding across the Texas-Mexico border with little attention paid to those that were shipped to Arizona from Texas. On Friday, June 6, a Tucson radio talk show host, Jon Justice, gave the residents of Southern Arizona their first glimpse into the Nogales Placement Center located at the Nogales Border Patrol Station and the children being cared for by Border Patrol agents.
Justice posted photos on facebook from an unnamed source which showed what appeared to be children behind fencing sleeping under thermal blankets (see photo). When asked about the Justice photos, officials did not deny that it was a photo of the Placement Center, but stated that CBP has not “officially released any photos at this time.” They did confirm that they “are processing unaccompanied minors” at the Nogales Placement Center located at the Nogales Border Patrol Station.
Justice, who has won the trust and support from Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents said that it was “important to get the information out to the public. The conditions are horrible, the facility isn’t prepared for that many kids and without the proper bath and toilet facilities it makes for an unsanitary situation.”
Border Patrol agents have been pulled off the border to care for the young children. “After following the issue and reporting on it for almost seven years, it is unbelievable how bad the illegal alien situation has gotten and how fast,” said Justice. “With kid involved it just adds to the tragedy. There seems to be no end in sight for the current transfer of aliens to Arizona from Texas. I believe we have yet to see how big a toll it will have on Tucson and the entire state of Arizona.”
Officials would not respond to specific questions, instead they sent a message from DHS: “The influx of unaccompanied children across the southwest border has resulted in an urgent humanitarian situation. It requires a whole of government coordinated and sustained response. The President has directed Secretary Johnson to establish an interagency Unified Coordination Group to ensure unity of effort across the Administration in responding effectively to this humanitarian situation. This effort, led and coordinated by FEMA, is quickly marshaling resources across the government to provide humanitarian relief to affected children. Addressing the rising flow of unaccompanied children crossing our southwest border is an important priority of this Administration and DHS.
On Monday, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer sent a letter to President Obama over the Department of Homeland Security transportation of the release of “thousands of illegal aliens and releasing them at bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix.”
Brewer called the policy “disturbing and inhumane.” She expressed concern that her administration was not notified about the move in advance and demanded a justification for it.
The released a statement on Friday, claiming that the governor’s office had just been informed by federal officials that –“not only has the policy not been terminated – it will continue into the foreseeable future.”
According to the Governor the Arizona Department of Emergency & Military Affairs reported that more than one thousand “unaccompanied alien children (UACs) are expected to arrive in Arizona this weekend – including 432 that had been or would be transported” on Friday, and “another 734 over Saturday and Sunday. This is in addition to, not inclusive of, adults and family units, for which numbers have not been provided or any information given.”
Governor Brewer stated, “I am disturbed and outraged that President Obama’s administration continues to implement this dangerous and inhumane policy, meanwhile neglecting to answer crucial questions our citizens demand and deserve.” The governor said the revelation by federal officials about the children “only raises more questions about this operation, and the few answers I did receive have only heightened my concerns. Citizens demand – and so should the media – the reason for this massive influx of illegal crossings and the cost to taxpayers for having to deal with the crisis created by the President.”
“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. If the Obama administration put half the effort into securing our border as it has invested to institute this operation, our state and nation would not be facing this situation,” continued the Governor. “This is a crisis of the federal government’s creation, and the fact that the border remains unsecure – now apparently intentionally – while this operation continues full-steam ahead is deplorable.”
“I have reached out to Federal Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson for answers. Meanwhile, I reiterate my call on President Obama to secure our southern border and terminate this operation immediately,” concluded Brewer.
DHS has not yet responded to the AZDI as to what is the exact nature of “the humanitarian crisis” and what led to the apparent mass migration of these children. According to various sources the children, once processed, will be housed at various sites in the state. DHS did not respond to questions what “resettlement” services are in place for the children, and whether they will be treated as refugees or repatriated.
It is well-known that the Obama administration has sent a message that our border is wide open and some form of amnesty give be given illegal entrants. As a result, the mass migration began with the hope of staking a claim for some sort of legal status.
KRGV.com out of McAllen Texas reported that a mother and child told CHANNEL 5 NEWS “that the message being disseminated in their country is, “go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.”
In their report, Nora Griselda Bercian Diaz, from Guatemala, told CHANNEL 5 NEWS nearly the same story another woman told AZDI last week after she was dropped off at the Tucson Greyhound Station. Diaz told CHANNEL 5 NEWS that “she endured threats from the Zetas and extortion from corrupt Mexican police. She eventually crossed the Rio Grande with her 6-year-old Delmi Griselda Paul Bercian by her side.”
On May 30, 2014 AZDI went down to the Tucson Greyhound bus station and found about 30 illegal immigrants all from Guatemala and Honduras. All were young women and children. They were heading in all different directions from Houston to Minnesota and all of them claimed to have a court date in their destination city.
Members of Border Patrol Local 2544 wrote it their latest blog post The Maginot Line of the Border Patrol:
“it appears that the agencies tasked with the interior defense of our country have instead become collaborators with the very organizations moving aliens into our country. ICE is supposed to be doing interior enforcement and developing its own deterrence? But go sit at an Arizona bus station for three hours and see what’s ICE is doing or not doing. Go to the Murrieta Station and watch them release 500 people a week (read more here) over the complaints of Border Patrol Agents.”
You, the American Taxpayer, have had the wool pulled over your eyes. Political appointees who have advocated for across the board asylum are running the show. For years they have told you the border is as secure as it ever was. They have created policy and operations that actually hamper and restrict Border Patrol Agents from doing their job.”
Southern Arizona Congressman Ron Barber did not respond to a request for a comment on the situation.
According to an article in the Arizona Daily Star the “federal government plans to open a shelter in Tucson to accommodate the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, according to a Guatemalan government official and city and county documents.”
The Star reports that on May 30, “Southwest Key, which describes itself as the largest provider of shelter services to unaccompanied minors in the country, requested a permit to convert part of a studio-apartment complex into a shelter for 36 children.”
The Star article indicates that the City of Tucson approved the request this week.
U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, said in a statement released this week, “The failure of DHS to adequately address the crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the border as a result of the Administration’s lack of border enforcement has reached disastrous proportions. ICE and CBP officers and agents are being overwhelmed by a massive influx of unaccompanied minors, whose crossings have doubled in the last year and is now projected to exceed 60,000 children in 2014. The stories behind these numbers are absolutely heart wrenching – parents are handing over small children to smugglers only to endure unspeakable hardship. While the creation of the Unified Coordination Group is a step in the right direction, much more must be done, and in the coming weeks the Committee will be exploring the causes behind this recent surge and how DHS can stop this dangerous trend.”