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Officials Expect Surge in Illegal Immigration

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Posted: Jan 17, 2013 7:02 PM

Updated: Jan 17, 2013 7:08 PM

WESLACO - A surge in illegal immigration could be in the Rio Grande Valley's near future, officials said.

Officials said this is the time of year when more immigrants venture into the United States.

Border Patrol agents said the Rio Grande and border fence segments are little deterrent for those determined to cross the international boundary.

"We're going to focus our resources towards a threat. So when we have people coming in, we'll put our resources in that area," Border Patrol Spokesman Henry Mendiola said.

"A lot of these folks come for seasonal work or some type of employment. When they haven't been back to see their family, sometimes in years, so they go back and attempt to make that crossing back in to the U.S.," Mendiola said.

Immigration advocates fear the talk of immigration reform may encourage foreigners to venture north.

"Our greatest fear right now is that all of these talks (of) immigration reform are going to encourage people to come out from their country and their places of origin," La Union del Pueblo Entero Community Organizing Coordinator Martha Sanchez said.

Sanchez said her organization is trying to send the message that people must come here through legal channels. She said immigration reform can't help everyone.

"It's only going to happen for people that have been here for a long time," she said.

Topics: henry mendiola, martha sanchez, lupe, immigration

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