Among the thousands of Central Americans streaming into the United States through Mexico there is a pervasive belief that if they make it across the border they can stay, a journalist who recently interviewed new arrivals told Newsmax TV
"[E]verything that we have heard tells us that they're coming across because they believe that they're going to get a permiso, or a free pass to the United States, once they get here," CNSNews.com investigative reporter Brittany Hughes told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.
Story continues below video.
Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349
and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now
Hughes described what she saw
as "tragic" during a visit to the Rio Grande Valley region of southern Texas — the primary crossing point for a wave of illegal immigrants that includes thousands of unaccompanied minors.
"One border security officer told us that it was upwards of 1,200 people a day who are crossing, and there doesn't seem to be any stemming of the tide at all," said Hughes.
"You've got women and children mostly. But then you also have a lot of single adults."
On a nighttime ride-along with U.S. border patrol, Hughes said she watched as migrants crossed the Rio Grande on rafts provided by smugglers.
"They're brought across late at night in groups of anywhere between 30 and 40 to upwards of 100 people at a time, and they're dropped off in very dangerous, very brushy areas of the border, " said Hughes.
Hughes said the migrants she interviewed in Spanish — none spoke English — gave similar accounts.
"They told told us that they had been told, if they came to the United States that they would be able to send their children to school, and that they could be reunited with some family members that they already had over here in various places," said Hughes.
One migrant said her husband was waiting for her in North Carolina, "but she also had brought across her niece, who was only nine years old, and she was going to send her niece to her mother in Miami," said Hughes.
Hughes said the term "unaccompanied minor" describes more than one category of person crossing the border.
She said the minors who have traveled "completely by themselves," with no adult supervision, tend to be between 13 and 17. She said children younger than that generally do arrive in the care of adults — just not parents or legal guardians as defined by U.S. law.
Hughes said many of the youngest migrants traveled with the only families they have ever really known: "extended relatives that they have lived with — some of them, for most of their childhood — because their parents are already in the United States."
© 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.