News To Me

Interesting news breaking on the Internet from the AJC

Illegal immigrants dumped at bus stations

UPDATE: Friday morning, ICE spokesman Vincent Picard emailed me to say no illegal immigrants detained in Georgia have been flown to Arizona. Picard believes a migrant probably told the photographer they were headed to Georgia, not that they were from Georgia. Picard did confirm Texas agents have transported people to Arizona and released them.  I have asked Arizona Republic reporter Daniel Gonzalez to respond to Picard's explanation, but he is out of the office until Monday. AJC immigration reporter Jeremy Redmon has written about this issue extensively , including a January story that says deportations are down 36 percent since 2011.

Original column follows:

Have you ever tried to tidy up one area of your home and after a lot of work realized you didn't fix the problem, you just moved it?

That's how the federal government handles immigration enforcement, according to reports from Arizona, which allege illegal immigrants from Texas and Georgia are being flown to Arizona and being released at Greyhound bus stations.

The Arizona Republic tells us everyone is upset at the news.

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Some think it is odd that those caught breaking federal law are being flown to another state and dropped off in a place that almost tells them to hop on a bus to anywhere in America.

Others think it is wrong to drop people off without providing food, water and other basic necessities.

It's possible both camps are right, but I will let you decide.

The Arizona Republic reports 400 illegal immigrants from Texas were flown to Arizona and released over the weekend.

Why? The border patrol agents in Texas are allegedly overwhelmed at the number of children and women flowing across the border.

A volunteer family advocate in Tucson says ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents have been dropping off women and children for months. She was at the Tucson Greyhound station Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and said ICE dropped off groups of 70, 90 and 60 people -- mostly women and children.

ICE officials say the illegal immigrants are being released under their own supervision, but are asked to report to ICE offices in Arizona within 15 days. But, it seems they "often disappear" and ICE doesn't bother to go look for them.

ICE officials said the agency began transporting migrants to the bus station in Phoenix after Greyhound officials complained the station in Tucson was being overwhelmed.

The Republic has pictures of a group that allegedly arrived at the Phoenix bus station Wednesday from Georgia, but ICE says those didn't happen (see update at top of column).

Due to complaints, sacked lunches are now being provided, but no tickets to Canada ... yet.

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