Undocumented immigrant surge strains humanitarian group


by Mike Watkiss

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV


Posted on May 29, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 2 at 3:32 PM

PHOENIX -- Dozens of people who entered the United States illegally were transported to Phoenix this week by federal immigration authorities.

The immigrants were brought to Arizona from Texas and dropped off at the Greyhound bus terminal at 24th Street and Buckeye Road in Phoenix.

"Beginning on Tuesday we started seeing families dropped off including children most under the age of  five, some as young as three to six months old," said Cyndi Whitmore with the immigrant help group Phoenix Restoration Project.

The undocumented immigrants from Central America were caught crossing the border in south Texas where illegal entry into the U.S. is reportedly surging.

In response, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement transported more than 400 people, who passed screening tests, to Arizona.

The immigrants were then dropped at the Greyhound bus stations in Phoenix and Tucson.

"They're now being released on their own recognizance which means given authorization to travel and reunite with family members in the United States," said Leah Sarat with the Phoenix Restoration Project.

One man was caught crossing the border in Texas with his wife and four daughters. He said he was escaping violence in his home country of Honduras. He said he is trying to get to Houston where his mother-in-law lives and he has a job waiting for him.

CPB and ICE released a statement that reads in part, "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."