By Astrid Galvan
Ranging from months old to adolescents, some of the children were sick and lethargic. Others played gleefully at arcade games in the crowded waiting room of the bus station.
The families were apprehended in Texas, flown to Arizona and dropped off by the busload at the station in Phoenix by federal immigration authorities overwhelmed by a surge of families caught crossing the Mexican border into the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
It was signal of a shift in immigration that has seen the Rio Grande Valley surpass Tucson as the leader in border apprehensions, overwhelming border agents in Texas. The trend is being driven by a huge increase in the number of immigrants from Central America.
Yet while the number of apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley vastly surpasses those in the Tucson sector in Arizona, the area has fewer agents. From October 2013 to May 17, agents in the Rio Grande Valley made more than 148,000 arrests, compared with 63,000 arrests in the Tucson sector. But the Rio Grande Valley has about 1,000 fewer agents than Tucson. Read more.