DALLAS, Texas (1080 KRLD) - "It's certainly a critical situation," says Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) "Because if you're just looking at the lower Rio Grande Valley we're getting about 1,200 people a day. Over 70 percent of them are not from Mexico but from other places and 300 to 400 of them are young people coming in without parents."
Cuellar says the major influx of illegal immigrants is also putting a major strain on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "Almost 40 percent of the Border Patrol Agents are not at the border they're actually filling out paperwork, transporting, feeding, moving these folks around. "
Another factor that's increasing the amount of illegal immigrants trying to reach the border is a rumor among Central Americans that if they reach the United States with young children they will get to stay.
Flood Of Immigrants At US Border Causing Issues
"We're facing a situation where the smuggling organizations know that if you send them to South Texas and they're not Mexicans they're from other countries there going to be released after awhile." says Cuellar.
Though there is no change in the law for children or parents many Central Americans that enter the U.S. illegally with young children are simply being freed with an order to appear before immigration authorities at a later time.
"After they're housed for awhile they're given a piece of paper and they're asked to show up in 90 days or so, and I can tell you that probably 90% of them are not going to be showing up," says Cuellar. "Because after they traveled thousands of miles, paid a lot of money (to smugglers), went through a very dangerous situation they're not going to turn themselves in."
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