Border Sheriff Group: Immigration Influx Like Hurricane Katrina

Thursday, 12 Jun 2014 10:45 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The number of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States from Mexico and Central America is comparable to the scale of dislocation from Hurricane Katrina, an official says.

Nearly 1,000 illegal immigrants per day are pouring into Texas, causing a range of concerns, including public health risks, crime, and housing pressures, according to KRLD, the CBS affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Border officials are saying they do not have the resources to manage the situation.

"How do you prepare for that?" Don Ray, executive director of the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition, told KRLD.

"You can't have an influx of people like that without having an impact; I think we saw that after Katrina. It's relocation services that are really taking place. In the case of Katrina, most of them were United States citizens or people that were here lawfully, and now you have people that aren't here lawfully."

Many of the illegal immigrants, including an estimated 48,000 children, are being temporarily moved to Arizona for housing and processing facilities.

Crime has been a concern in Arizona. Immigrant families that are released are told to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office but one official says the evidence suggests the system managed by the federal government is not working.

"In our jails, we found that about 2,000 inmates in the past several months are in jail for several state crimes, but they're here illegally and we found out that over and over again they're being released to ICE and they keep coming back," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told KRLD.

"So that tells you either they're being led out the back door or they're being deported and they're still coming across the border. So that's sad when you have so many illegal aliens that committed crimes, that you have turned over and yet what happens to them, they just commit other crimes and come back to jail."

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