Unprecedented Surge of Kids Crossing US Border
It's an unprecedented surge of immigrants on America's southern border: Thousands of minors are crossing over, most without parents or adult guardians and are being picked up by the U.S. Border Patrol.
The surge of children at the southern border is both a political crisis and a humanitarian one.
"Undeniably, there is a problem of humanitarian proportions in the Rio Grand Valley sector that we must deal with," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress.
Why the sudden surge in kids coming across the borders? CBN News' Chuck Holton, who lives with his family in Panama, offered more insight, on CBN Newswatch, June 12.
During the past eight months, U.S. Border Patrol has detained an estimated 47,000 unaccompanied minors, almost double last year's number. Authorities reports a 92 percent spike in children flowing across the Mexican border.
They're said to be fleeing gang violence and poverty, but sources say they're also motivated by the belief that women and children will not be deported.
Immigration activists say the children are being treated badly once in U.S. custody.
"They are being shackled. They are being denied food, water, and medical treatment," Alessandra Soler, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, said. "They are suffering at the hands of the CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection], and we want it to stop."
But a government video showed a facility where children seemed to be treated well, in cafeterias and classrooms, learning English.
More than 600 of the young immigrants are on their way from Texas and Arizona to Fort Sill, an army post in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Residents there are concerned about the long term. Who will take care of them?
"We don't have the answers to the questions," Gov. Mary Fallon said. "We know that Oklahoma will be overburdened if these children should be released into Oklahoma."
One Border Patrol source said right now, the United States is fighting a losing battle against the immigrant surge.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has also asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for an immediate $30 million in resources to address the issue.