Jun 25, 2014 10:33 PM by Lauren Reimer
NOGALES - At a city Park in Nogales, children spent the day playing in the fountains, under the watchful eye of parents and grandparents. But not far from there at the Nogales border patrol detention facility, 900 children about the same age are being held in a warehouse
Some state and federal leaders saw it firsthand for the first time Wednesday, including Governor Jan Brewer and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Johnson sent a strong message to parents after a tour of the Nogales facility, saying the 1,000 mile journey from Central American is dangerous, and futile. "The path of citizenship is not given to those who cross the border. Not today, tomorrow, for yesterday. I continue to stress that."
Johnson plans to travel to Guatemala in July to meet with government leaders there on what to do next.
But here in Nogales, some area residents, like Teresa Leal, say they can't wait any longer for a solution. "The borderlands are at the mercy of Washington and Mexico City," said Leal.
She says she's done being quiet about the crisis, "We have to make a noise. We have to express ourselves; we have to let them know what this cannot go on."
She and her group, who call themselves the 'Border Patrol Victims Network' are organizing an awareness walk later this week.
"I don't care if you're from the right, the left, up, down, if you're an atheist, or a Christian or whatever, the children are the results and they are paying the price," said Leal.
That walk will be held on Friday at 5 p.m. on the corner of Grand and Crawford in Nogales.