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Increase in Illegal Immigrant Children Affects Other Border States

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Posted: Jun 27, 2014 1:42 PM

Updated: Jun 30, 2014 3:00 PM

RIO GRANDE VALLEY - The effect of unaccompanied children into the U.S. reaches far beyond the Rio Grande Valley.

It runs all the way to Arizona, but with one major difference.

A news crew with an Arizona television station recently drove into the desert with a spokesman with U.S. Border Patrol.

They talked about drug cartels' control of smuggling routes, and the risks of walking for days in 115 degree heat.

Arizona Border Patrol spokesman Andy Adame says they have not seen an increase in unaccompanied minors, like we have in South Texas- with one exception.

"The only group (other than Mexican) that we've seen a big increase in is Guatemalan juveniles," said Adame. "We've been talking about this for the last six months, trying to get the word out to Guatemala (and aimed at juveniles) that Arizona is not the place to cross."

Adame says human smuggling used to be run by families who lived along both sides of the border.

He says that changed about nine or ten years ago when the drug cartels moved in. Now, anyone trying to cross has to deal with criminals.

Adame says the Border Patrol agents have traveled to Guatemala, warning people not to cross through Arizona.

Topics: immigrant, children, arizona, unaccompanied

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