Bryan City Council Member, Missionary Shares Perspective On Border Crisis

BRYAN - The federal government is expected to announce Friday whether it will turn Bryan's old Army Reserve center into a processing center for undocumented children.

A Bryan City Council Member has a unique perspective on the border crisis.

She just returned from a missionary trip to Central America.

Illegal immigration is a hot button issue in Bryan as the federal government is considering a site to house children who cross the border illegally.

"It's a humanitarian crisis like Governor Perry said yesterday. When you see that many children showing up here it means that they have lost hope in the country they are coming from," said Bryan City Council Member Ann Horton.

Horton has made mission trips to Central America with an organization called Shelter the Homeless International Project.

She's been to El Salvador about 50 times, including as recently as last week.

"What I hear is that it costs a minimum of $7,000 to hire a coyote to bring anybody to the U.S. The neighborhood where I work I don't think anyone could scrape together $7,000," she said.

Daniel Hernandez is a Bryan Attorney who handles immigration cases.

He says unlike illegal children from Mexico who are sent back immediately, Central American children are considered for asylum.

But the border crisis has created quite a backlog

"What's happened is that once the 2008 law was passed it was ok if the numbers were low. But, when the numbers became huge now you have waiting times of over several years," Hernandez explained.

While critics are opposed to housing the illegal children in Bryan, Horton hopes residents would open their hearts and help.

"Well I think it would be a challenge for us a city and I also think it would also be an opportunity for people to want to get involved to help children. It would be a good opportunity to do that, these children are scared to death," she said.

She also added more needs to be done to secure the border to prevent people from crossing over in the first place.

Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski and Congressman Bill Flores have both voiced their opposition to housing illegal immigrant children at the old Army Reserve Center.

Sources tell us the government may be leaning towards selecting other sites around Texas.

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