News

U.S. sends more agents to border amid child immigrant crisis

U.S. sends more agents to border amid child immigrant crisis

BORDER PATROL:Detainees are escorted to an area to make phone calls as hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Nogales Placement Center. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday the United States is sending more agents to the border with Mexico to help deal with a flood of undocumented children, mostly from Central America, crossing into the United States.

One hundred and fifteen experienced agents have been sent from less active areas to the Rio Grande Valley, and a further 150 may join them, based on a review of operations there last week, Johnson said in testimony prepared for a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

In the fiscal year through September 2013, U.S. agents picked up more than 24,000 unaccompanied children at the southern border.

From October to mid-June this year, that number more than doubled to over 52,000, and U.S. authorities have been grappling with how best to deal with the crisis.

“We are talking about large numbers of children, without their parents, who have arrived at our border – hungry, thirsty, exhausted, scared and vulnerable. How we treat the children, in particular, is a reflection of our laws and our values,” Johnson said in his testimony.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Oil Train Derails Near Galena

railroad

A BNSF Railway freight train containing 103 cars loaded with crude oil has derailed near Galena.

in Local

Durbin Wants Expansion of Veterans Caregiver Funding

Durbin VA Caregiver

Senator Dick Durbin wants to expand a program that currently provides care to post-9/11 disabled veterans, to disabled veterans of any conflict.

in Local

Unions Sue Over Exec. Order on Fair Share Dues

rauner

Illinois labor unions are asking a judge to invalidate Gov. Bruce Rauner's executive order.

in Local

Lawmaker Wants to Revive Illinois Death Penalty

jail

Just four years after capital punishment was taken off the books in Illinois, a state lawmaker says it's time to bring it back.

in Local

Number of Illinois Children in Poverty Holds Steady

voices

The child poverty rate is holding steady in Illinois, but it's holding steady at a rate higher than advocates would like.