The number of children and teenagers traveling alone from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador is expected to reach up to 90,000 across the Southwest border by the end of the year, along with a surge of families with children seeking safe passage into the U.S.
Detentions along this stretch of the river have gone from up to 50 immigrants a week to as many as 300. On Tuesday night, constables captured 100, on Monday nearly 200. Authorities are comparing the onslaught of homeless detainees to the displacements brought by Hurricane Katrina.
Children detained by immigration authorities are supposed to be held a maximum of 72 hours, then moved to temporary shelters, where they spend about a month on average before being placed with relatives or sponsors while their immigration cases are pending.
But senior Obama administration officials who briefed reporters this week acknowledged that they haven't been able to meet the 72-hour requirement: There is simply not enough staff to process all the new arrivals.
Once they are processed, the Border Patrol has been flying many families to other states and releasing them en masse at bus stations with notices to appear in immigration courts at their destinations.
Let me guess...they're bound for JFK?