Feds transfer hundreds of illegal immigrants from Texas to AZ
PHOENIX (CNN/KPHO) — A sudden wave of undocumented immigrants has been showing up at the Phoenix Greyhound Bus station, and federal agents are the ones bringing them in.
"They had been releasing people through Tucson, but the bus station didn't have the capacity to hold so many people,"said Leah Sarat, a volunteer helping the illegal immigrants. "Just in the last few days we've been seeing upwards of 70 to 80 people within a 24-hour period."
"We're concerned about the condition they're in, said Cyndi Whitmore, with the Phoenix Restoration Project. "After being released, they have very little provisions. They don't have food, water, diapers and formula."
The unexpected guests were among the roughly 400 undocumented immigrants apprehended in Texas, then sent to Arizona for processing this week.
Federal officials said that Texas was overwhelmed with undocumented immigrants over the Memorial Day weekend, so many of them were shipped out.
The U.S. Immigration and Enforcement Office released this statement.
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Tucson Sector is assisting with the processing of illegal immigrants, many of whom are family units, apprehended in South Texas. Upon completion of processing, CBP is transferring the individuals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), where appropriate custody determinations will be made in accordance with ICE enforcement priorities."
"After screening by DHS authorities, the family units will be released under supervision and required to report in to a local ICE office near their destination address within 15 days, where their cases will be managed in accordance with current ICE enforcement priorities."
CBS 5 spoke to a man from Honduras, who is now in Phoenix with his wife and children.
He said that he is seeking political asylum, because of violence back home.
Authorities said that since many of the undocumented immigrants are from Central America, and not Mexico, they cannot be immediately deported.
They have been released to reunite with families in the U.S., while awaiting their court date.
A number of anti illegal immigration groups believe the latest wave of undocumented immigrants will pave the way for countless others to cross our border.
Glenn Spencer is president of American Border patrol, a non-profit group that's pushing for border security.
"I would expect a surge across the Texas border and expect to see a lot more of this," said Spencer."If you are living in Central America in tough conditions, all you have to do is get across the Rio Grande River and you are going to do it. I think it sends the wrong message."