By Miriam Raftery
June 29, 2014 (San Diego) – The Border Patrol has announced that starting this week, it will bring undocumented Central American immigrants from Texas to California. The first groups will include families, not unaccompanied minors, to ease overcrowding of facilities due to an influx of children fleeing violence in Central America.
The families will be brought to San Diego and El Centro to ease what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis.
ABC News this week interviewed a 17 year old girl who was among those immigrants apprehended attempting to cross into the U.S. In a tearful voice, she told them that she fled her home in Central America after her brother was murdered and a gang threatened her with harm if she would not join. On her journey here, she was gang-raped by several men before reaching the U.S. She was detained after reaching the U.S. but eventually released into custody of a relative in Florida, where she awaits an asylum hearing to determine if she can stay in the U.S. or not.
By Trevor Hill
June 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This year, the number of minors illegally crossing the border north through Mexico into the United States has increased to approximately 48,000 (92% higher than last year) and is projected to reach over 60,000 by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. The vast majority of these children is not coming from Mexico, but in fact is fleeing Central American countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
To deal with the influx, immigrant minors and adults alike are being shipped to warehouses and other facilities in order to hold them until they can be deported or granted a green card. About 700 minors are currently being held in a warehouse Nogales, Arizona, where living conditions have become deplorable due to overcrowding and lack of supplies. Fortunately, this is only a temporary housing for the children who will spend only enough time in Nogales to receive vaccinations and be checked medically before being sent to facilities in Ventura, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
This overcrowding is due to a lack of legal representatives willing and/or able to represent these children in Immigration Court. Because courts are not required to fund lawyers for the children, they must find a legal representative through advocacy groups or pro bono law programs.
Lawsuit Charged Lack Of Medical And Mental Health Care Led To Death and Unnecessary Suffering
January 17, 2011 (San Diego)--Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have agreed to provide immigration detainees with constitutionally adequate levels of medical and mental health care as part of an agreement last month to settle an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit. The suit charged that deficient care at the San Diego Correctional Facility caused unnecessary suffering and death.
As part of the settlement, ICE has also agreed to change its policy on medical care that had led to the denial of what ICE deemed to be "non-emergency" care, including heart surgeries and cancer biopsies.
November 3, 2010 (San Diego) – The San Diego Tunnel Task Force uncovered a sophisticated 600-yard underground cross-border tunnel overnight, the U.S. Justice Department Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reveals. Approximately 30 tons of marijuana seized in the US and Mexico have been linked to the tunnel.