Children with no parents, just a note pinned to their shirt with a name.Mothers with young children, and nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
These are the people officials say are flooding the US Border with Mexico, crowding detention facilities.
Sunset in the south Texas city of McAllen, nestled along the banks of Rio Grande on the border with Mexico.
It's when shadowy figures emerge from the dark, desperate to cross the river and enter the United States.These are faces of a humanitarian crisis and the subject of fierce political debate.
Thousands of families from Central America are flooding the nation's southwest border overwhelming immigration officials, and its resources.
Most shocking, thousands are children as young as four, traveling alone. A note pinned to their shirts telling authorities who to contact when they arrive.
Irma crossed the border with her son, 15 year-old Wilmer, and her two and a half year old daughter. They rely on what little they can carry, and on each other. Irma says she and her family left Guatemala because of what she described as "tough times."
Belqui's also turned herself over to police after crossing the border. Her dream was for her son to get medical care so that he could see properly again. She says working in the US will make that easier. She tells us word is spreading in Guatemala that some who are caught, are released with money for a bus ticket and a date to appear in immigration court.
Officials here say most don't show up for court. They disappear and add to the number of undocumented workers already here.
For officers, seeing the children traveling on their own is the most difficult.
Sgt. Dan Broyles is a local deputy constable. He helped border patrol in the area for decades. He says the beat isn't what it used to be.
He says an encounter with Border Control no longer means a quick deportation for most who cross, rather it's one more way to get into the US. Irma and Belqui hope that's the case.
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