Texans frustrated land has become highway for illegal immigrants

McALLEN, Texas -- On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said it's time to send in the National Guard. He's authorizing the deployment of 1,000 troops to his state's border with Mexico to bolster security. The number of illegal immigrants, many of them children, trying to cross the border has surged in recent months.

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Lorenzo Anzaldua
Few Texans are as eager to welcome the National Guard as Lorenzo Anzaldua. His family has lived in McAllen, Texas, for close to 175 years. But now their land has become a highway for illegal immigrants coming across the Rio Grande River just a mile or so away, three weeks ago.

"It's like a funnel and they all get on the border or on our land, or you know, American soil and they take three or four routes but they all merge into one. And that's right behind me, that road."

Many wind up in nearby McAllen, Texas. Seventy-six percent of the illegal immigrants in this recent surge have come through the Rio Grande valley region.

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Volunteers have offered help to the immigrants at a catholic charities shelter downtown.

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Lazaro Fernandez Jr.
Lazaro Fernandez Jr.'s fabric company is two blocks away.

"I am frustrated because we should have never gotten to that point and that situation. And our government has put us in that situation and that is wrong," says Fernandez.

Officials in McAllen want Washington to reimburse the city for the $700,000 it expects to spend this year to deal with the latest surge of illegal immigrants, including transportation and security costs.

"We're being invaded and the quicker the politicians realize it's an invasion, the quicker they'll close the border," adds Anzaldua. He hopes the arrival of the guard is the first step in that direction.

  • Anna Werner

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