Illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border in Texas at the Rio Grande Valley are being moved to the Phoenix Greyhound bus station located at 2115 E. Buckeye Rd. This isn't just a small transporting of a couple illegal immigrants. Arizona news station KPHO notes that over the Memorial Day weekend the bus stop was so inundated with illegal immigrants that they had to ship many of them out. There are currently around 400 individuals that have been dropped at this station alone.
The U.S. Immigration and Enforcement Office did release a statement in regards to the processing of these illegal immigrants through the bus station:
"US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Tucson Sector is assisting with the processing of illegal immigrants, many of whom are family units, apprehended in South Texas. Upon completion of processing, CBP is transferring the individuals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), where appropriate custody determinations will be made in accordance with ICE enforcement priorities.
"After screening by DHS authorities, the family units will be released under supervision and required to report in to a local ICE office near their destination address within 15 days, where their cases will be managed in accordance with current ICE enforcement priorities."
Arizona station KTAR reports that the problem is still not any better as of June 5. Illegal immigrants are still pouring into the site, sometimes by the dozens. Many of these immigrants come with minimal belongings and very little food. To be released from ICE officials, the immigrant must only sign a paper stating that they will appear in court within 15 to 30 days. After that, they are released to their own devices.
Moreover, they are expected to return to Texas on their own once the deportation process is complete. The whole ICE process is done on an "honor system." This is concerning to many state officials in Arizona who do not foresee these immigrants returning home after such hardship to get here.
State officials in Arizona are asking why the immigrants are being brought to Arizona in the first place. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants some answers and wrote a letter to President Obama asking for an explanation:
"As governor of Arizona, I am deeply concerned about this troubling policy and the adverse impact on the illegal aliens, as well as to Arizona."
Currently very little answers are being given, so while the illegal immigrants wait for their case to be heard by ICE, volunteers in Arizona are picking up the slack. The Restoration Project in Phoenix is one such organization lending a helping hand. These volunteers greet the immigrants at the Phoenix Bus Station as they exit their designated bus and provide them with water and snacks. After they have received their paperwork from ICE, the volunteers move the people to nearby shelters supported by the group. At the shelter they can bathe, sleep, and make phone calls to family. Since several of these families do not have relatives nearby and are without a home or place to stay, some volunteers began offering their homes to the families until they could reach someone. Some still wonder though if illegal immigrants are treated better than our military vets.
With no end in sight, the organization is hunkering down for a long-term issue in the area. Until the feds can give a definitive answer on where these individuals should be housed or kept until they are deported, it looks as though Arizona will become a temporary housing unit.
Do you think it is fair that Arizona is being forced to take care of the immigrants without federal support?
[Photo credit: Yahoo News]