On Fronteras: We continue our reporting on the tens of thousands of Central American children and teens who are now in the United States. A UTSA demographer, who researches immigration, tells us more about what's driving this surge to the north. Texas is known as an energy superpower, but solar is sluggish here. We also look at solar economics in Texas and lessons that can be learned from other southwest states. And, the Kitchen Sisters take us to the Mexican town of Tequila, it's in the heart of a region that produces the legendary spirit.
The Texas House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee lined up several state agencies and city leaders from the Rio Grande Valley to detail how the thousands of Central American children coming to Texas is affecting various functions of state and local government.
The Department of Public Safety’s Steve McCraw said there is a lack of security related to the large number of border patrol agents who are having to spend more time processing unaccompanied children.
Among the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have come from Central America this year are children who speak little or no Spanish. Many are from Guatemala's indigenous communities, who speak more than 20 different Mayan languages.
Rafael Domingo, 16, grew up in Guatemala speaking Q'anjob'al, sometimes referred to as Kanjobal. The youngest son of a single mother, he rode a bus, walked for miles and crossed a river before he was stopped at the Texas border.
"It was so difficult to come to this country," Domingo says through an interpreter.
Applauding President Barack Obama’s executive order, Congressman Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, said Congress has failed to address the thousands of unaccompanied Central American children now here in the state.
Obama called the surge of Central American children to the United States through Texas a "humanitarian crisis" and said he can no longer wait on Congress to pass an immigration reform bill.
The President announced he would order a shift of immigration enforcement resources from the interior of the country toward the southern border.
President Obama is requesting that Congress authorize $2 billion and special powers to deal with the surge of unaccompanied minor immigrants.
In record numbers the children are coming from Central America, crossing the Rio Grande and overwhelming the U.S. system after being apprehended at the Texas border. Most are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, but Honduras is the leading source country.
Calling the situation a "humanitarian crisis," County Judge Clay Jenkins said Dallas County is prepared to house more than 1,000 immigrant children.
"I believe that every child is precious, and that regardless of your stance on immigration or the causes for this human tragedy, we cannot turn our back on the children that are already here," Jenkins said while speaking at the Texas Democratic Convention on Saturday.
Last week the Texas Department of State Health Services toured U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facilities where thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America are living.
While the department has no jurisdiction over the Fort Brown Detention Center in Brownsville and the McAllen Station Detention Center, DSHS Media Relations Director Carrie Williams said they have been able to provide technical assistance and vaccines.
Thousands of unaccompanied children are coming from Central America, crossing the Rio Grande and being apprehended at the Texas border. They are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – but Honduras is the main source.
As night seizes Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the streets of one of the capital city’s toughest neighborhoods, Comayagüela, are virtually deserted. Most people here know that it’s not safe for anyone to be caught out alone at night. This is where the killer gangs are notorious.