The Border Patrol has upped its estimate of the number of unaccompanied minor children who will cross the U.S. border this year from 60,000 to 90,000 as the children continue flooding across the border and threatening to overwhelm Border Patrol officers and other federal officials, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The Border Patrol has officially said 60,000 are expected to cross, but an unreleased memo obtained by the Association Press raises that figure to 90,000.
The bulk of the unaccompanied children, some as young as three, are arriving at Texas border crossings, which for the past year has been the busiest Border Patrol sector.
The Department of Health and Human Services Thursday allowed selected reporters, including one from 1200 WOAI news, to tour the former barracks at Lackland AFB which is now the temporary home for more than 900 children between the ages of 12 and 17.
Reporters say the rows of metal cots where the children sleep, and the crude drawings the children have tacked to the walls behind their bunks, many including flags of their homeland, and some urging victory for the Honduran team in the upcoming World Cup.
The vast majority of the children are from Central America, where a combination of incompetent leftist governments, economic 'chaos,' and crime rates which are the worst in the world are prompting many children to seek out relatives in the Untied States.
Some social workers who work with the children say many are told by immigrant smuggling gangs, who are driving this wave of unaccompanied children, that 'all you have to do is show up,' and the US will take you in.
That is not inaccurate. HHS officials at the shelter say they are releasing the children as soon as possible to 'relatives or vetted sponsors,' who have to give their word that the children will show up for immigration court hearings.
The children have also been checked repeatedly for lice and scabies, which many of them contract on the long and expensive journey through Mexico to the United States.
The children get two ten minute phone calls per week, which are made in a former barracks classroom with the international dialing codes for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador prominently displayed on the white board up front.
The drawings that children make say much about what is in their hearts. Mainly homesickness. A boy named Marco drew a colorful picture of the Guatemalan flag along with the message 'la bandera de mi pais,' the flag of my country.
A little girl has mounted on her metal bunk a drawing of a little girl petting a puppy along with the words 'dios es amor,' God is love, something these children haven't had much of lately.