Jun 10, 2014 8:12 PM by Lupita Murillo

Border Patrol Union Pres. visits processing center for children

NOGALES - Since the start of the 2014 budget year in October, more than 48,000 thousand child immigrants, some traveling alone, have been caught at the border. Officials are calling this a humanitarian crisis.

News 4 Tucson has learned the processing center in Nogales will continue indefinitely.

Art Del Cueto is the president of the local union of Border Patrol agents. He spent over two hours with the juveniles Tuesday. He said they have over 1,000 juveniles in the facility.

He asked them why they made that dangerous trek from their country to the United States. "It's the pressure in their country right now, it's the violence," they told him.

They also told him "we were told by the media down in our country, told by family members, if we crossed right now we can get away with it and stay in the U.S."

Del Cueto said religious groups were also urging the juveniles to cross the border.

Right now, they are staying in a warehouse behind the Border Patrol station. The juveniles are under the close supervision of Border Patrol agents. Everyone who has visited the facility all say the same thing that "agents are doing a great job."

Rev. Jarrett Maupin is part of the clergy and civil rights delegation out of Phoenix. They also visited the facility Tuesday.

"The young people range in age from 17 to 0," Rev. Maupin said. "There are infants inside."

His message to the federal government, "We need to get these children out of this Border Patrol processing center as soon as humanly possible."

Rev. Maupin said barbed wire and chain link fences are not appropriate for these children.

"Half the warehouse has been turned into some kind of human cattle pin, they don't have the room or the space to accommodate anymore people at this facility," Rev. Maupin said.

From Nogales, the juveniles will be sent to Ventura, California, San Antonio, Texas, or Fort Sill, Oklahoma where authorities will try to find their families or place them with a sponsor.


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