Since May, the federal government has transferred more than 400 undocumented immigrants from Texas to Arizona. There has been a good amount of criticism because these immigrants are not being given basic necessities in order to survive. Recently, CBS5 was present at the Phoenix Greyhound bus station when another group of these immigrants was being dropped off. These groups consist of both children and adults and came to Phoenix “with not much more but the clothes on their back.”
CBS5 spoke with Brittany Knight, a volunteer from Mesa who came to offer assistance. “There needs to be a better way,” she said. “Why are you transferring people from one state to the next, to the next with nothing?”
According to federal officials, they were forced to send these immigrants to Arizona because Texas has been overwhelmed and are unable to process all of the undocumented immigrants that are apprehended in the state. Once they were processed, they were released at Phoenix and Tucson bus stops, “where they could then reach out to loved ones and be reunited with family across the United States.”
One immigrant who was shuffled from Texas to Arizona was Dyselia Majano. She, along with her two children, left their home country of Honduras and planned on having a better life in the United States. However, Majano said that the past week has been “extremely difficult.” She went on to comment, with the help of an interpreter, said that people are being nicer to them in Arizona than they were in Texas. She said they were “mistreated and insulted” while in Texas, but people have been “really supportive here.”
In response to these drop-offs, Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, sent a letter to the Obama administration, criticizing the procedure. You can read the letter in its entirety here. In the letter, Gov. Brewer says that “it's not only bad policy, but it put these families at risk by leaving them at bus stops with no money and very little food and water.”
Another volunteer at the scene, Linda Herrera, said she wished the conditions were better. “At the same time, we're grateful there is such a humanitarian effort, and need to assist these families. Now they can go to court and make decisions under the law, which they have the right to do."
According to the laws in the U.S. regarding immigration policy and enforcement, the undocumented immigrants who hail from Mexico cannot be immediately deported. In this situation, they were released and are required to report to an ICE (Immigration and Customs) office within 15 days. They can report to the ICE office in the city where they are headed.
Although this transfer of immigrants has been making headlines recently, this practice is not new. However, the number of immigrants being transferred has significantly gone up and that is likely why it has received increased attention.
If you have questions related to your immigration status, do not hesitate to contact my office and we can schedule an initial consultation to discuss the facts of your case.