| SAN DIEGO, June 27
SAN DIEGO, June 27 U.S. Border Patrol officials
in southern California are sending agents and other resources to
Texas to help stretched colleagues in the Rio Grande deal with a
surge of immigrants illegally crossing the frontier, two Border
Patrol union officials said on Friday.
Officials are trying to handle an influx of new arrivals,
many of them unaccompanied minors from Central America, that has
crowded facilities in Texas and led to efforts to move some to
"U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector is sending Mobile
Response Team trained agents from San Diego to enhance
processing and detention capabilities in the Rio Grande Valley,"
said Gabe Pacheco, spokesman for the National Border Patrol
Council Local 1613, which covers San Diego.
He said in a statement that additional resources would be
deployed immediately to South Texas "to facilitate increased
A Border Patrol union official in the neighboring El Centro
sector of southern California said it was also sending agents,
and that the other resources included vehicles.
Plans to begin flying the immigrants to California from
Texas for processing were abruptly called off last weekend
without public explanation. Border Patrol union officials said
that was due to public pressure.
More than 47,000 unaccompanied minors are thought to have
entered the United States illegally between October and May,
nearly twice as many as the previous year, many of them fleeing
poor and violent countries such as El Salvador and Honduras.
President Barack Obama has called the flood of illegal
immigrant children an urgent humanitarian crisis but has also
warned parents not to send their children on the long journey,
saying they would be sent back.
Shawn Moran, vice president of the Border Patrol Council,
said about 100 Border Patrol agents have been sent to the Rio
Grande from other sectors to help process new arrivals, and that
another 150 volunteers were being sought.
The surge comes as a number of U.S. groups push for policy
reform to let the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in
the United States obtain a pathway to citizenship.
Many Republicans say the Obama administration is not doing
enough to secure the southern border, and they blame the surge
of children on the president's 2012 decision to give temporary
relief from deportation to some young people brought to the
United States illegally by their parents.
(Reporting by Marty Graham; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Dan