For several weeks, immigrant women and children have been taken to the local Greyhound bus station in Tucson. At first, it was only immigrants who had attempted to cross into the U.S. near the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. There was such a surge of apprehensions, federal officials directed that a number of the individuals be brought to Arizona. Women and children continue to be brought to the Tucson station, but they are not coming from Texas. Now, the groups are those who have been arrested while trying to enter into the United States by way of Arizona.
The Arizona Daily Star talked with Ana Carrillo while she waited at the Tucson Greyhound bus station with her two children, Abner (6) and Lady (4). They are headed to Memphis, where Carrillo's brother lives. Her children stayed busy by playing with other young children who were also waiting at the bus station. Carrillo is from Guatemala and and she said that came to Arizona by going through Agua Prieta, just east of Tucson. She had hired a smuggler to help her get to the U.S., but he robbed her and told her to run.
She does not know how far she and her children ran before she met up with a Border Patrol officer. Her children were tired and crying. She told The Arizona Daily Star, in Spanish, that during her travels, she was praying that God would help her.
The desert heat has been hard on Carrillo and her children. Her daughter's face has red spots, which can be a side effect from being in intense heat. Volunteers even had to go to a local store to purchase ChapStick because Carrillo and her children's lips were so chapped from the hot sun and dehydration.
Towards the end of May 2014, volunteers who help immigrants left at bus stations began noticing more women and children than ever before. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has reported that it processed approximately 400 individuals “who had been transferred from south Texas over the Memorial Day weekend.”
Volunteers are helpful to have at the bus stations, because many women who get dropped there do not even “know where they are or how to buy their bus ticket.” In many cases, these women arrive hungry and dehydrated. Further, they do not have the basic necessities needed for them and their children; they are often without diapers or baby food.
During the current fiscal year, there has not only been an increase in undocumented women with children traveling to the U.S., but also unaccompanied minor children. The majority of these crossings have been occurring in Texas. Individual sector numbers have not yet been released, but “nationwide, Border Patrol has detained more than 39,000 adults with children so far this fiscal year.” The fiscal year ends on September 30, 2014.
If you have questions related to your immigration status and are seeking legal counsel, please contact my office today. We can schedule an initial consultation in order to meet and discuss the facts of your case.