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The Crisis at the Border — Part 2

America Daily with Tabitha Smiles

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Today we talk about the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. In part one we talked about the history of this border and how the wall and immigration developed in the U.S.

Listen to Part One in this series here.

The Border Crisis

We went down to the Rio Grande border towns of McAllen and Laredo to assess what the situation is and talk with the local people living there to find out how this is impacting their lives. This part of the border is considered the most active.

Once we got to McAllen Texas, we checked into a local Red Roof Inn and were able to talk to a local business owner there about what he’s seen as both a businessman and longtime resident of the border town of McAllen Tx.

Here’s Mr. Govind as he explains his background for us.

Mr. Govind:
So I lived on and off in the Valley since 1992. I was raised in Central Texas, lived in Dallas, but I lived in Texas for the majority of my life. I am a business owner. I’m in the hotel business down here. We do see the difference in the business. Whenever this all flares up on the media side, a lot of people think it’s unsafe here. People think they shouldn’t come here. But honestly, this is one of the safest places I’ve ever lived in. I don’t mind walking around any street any time of day and I feel 100% safe. I’ve never felt unsafe in this city and anywhere in the Rio Grande Valley, to be honest.

How close are you to the Border?

Mr. Govind:
We are, if you draw a straight line, maybe two miles, or two and a half miles from the border and the nearest bridge is three miles, which is one exit over and just straight down the road.
A Border Patrol agent drives past new vehicle barriers near Deming, N.M., built by U.S. Army Soldiers with the 133rd Engineer Company, Wyoming National Guard June 17, 2006. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jim Greenhill) (Released)

When did you notice the border crisis heating up?

Mr. Govind:
I’d say it’s happened in ebbs and flows roughly for the past 10 years, 11 years ago. It was extremely bad. Whenever a rumor got started that if you cross the border without your parents, you know, as an underage individual, you would get asylum immediately or get to stay.
 Or, you know, there was a misnomer that most of the kids would get to stay and they would come across and say, oh, I don’t have parents. I don’t have this. So the trend started and got worse and worse and worse, and I think it went away.
And now, recently it’s come back even more. And last week, from the people I’ve spoken with, that several people are crossing in droves now and just turning themselves in, trying to seek asylum.
And we’re not sure exactly why it’s all happening right now, but they’re overwhelming the detention centers, agents are stressed, the whole region is sort of stressed and they just can’t handle it.
There’s literally overwhelmed with people.

So we know that there are younger people coming, but now it seems like the children are getting younger. Do you notice that? It seems to be younger and younger kids are coming over?

Mr. Govind: 
Yeah. So before it was teenagers a little bit at adolescence, but now it’s five-year-olds, eight-year-olds, you know, young, young kids. And I’m not sure why that is now. I don’t know if they’re, uh, they’re mostly Central American, like a, from Guatemala, Honduras.
A lot of people are like, oh, it’s Mexican nationals. I was like, it’s not Mexican nationals. Most Mexican nationals can easily cross. They shop here, they come here all the time, spend the money and they go back home and they go back to their lives because they’re doing well.
It’s actually better to live across the board. It’s cheaper to live over there.

Another question is about how they’re starting to just let them out at the bus stops and they’re supposed to come back afterward for a hearing, but most of them don’t come back. Is that what you’re hearing as well?

Mr. Govind:  
So the detention centers cannot hold them anymore. So they’re releasing them to the public with a bus pass, and a court date to return. But most of the agents and politicians and just about everybody that you talk to, know that they’re not coming back.
And they also know that 99% of them don’t have a legitimate asylum claim. Cause they’re just coming across and getting captured and try to stay.

Press play to listen to hear the whole conversation. Have you been impacted by the border crisis? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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