Program allows some undocumented immigrants caught to remain in - KMSP-TV

Program allows some undocumented immigrants caught to remain in the U.S.

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A group of undocumented immigrants were caught by the U.S. Border Patrol while trying to cross the Rio Grande River into Texas recently.

If they were from Mexico authorities would release them back across the border.

But this group is from Central American countries, and the Mexican government refuses to accept them.

Since they have to be returned to the country, they're from there has to be a legal process. While that plays out they remain in the United States.

At the Greyhound Bus Station in Phoenix, a white bus pulled up full of undocumented immigrants. It's not a Greyhound bus but rather a bus from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Inside are women and children from Central America.

One of the people on the bus was Diana Grajeda from Guatemala. She is heading to the east-coast, to Maryland.

Grajeda isn't sure where exactly, she just has an address scrawled on a scrap of paper.

The immigrants are getting help from a group called The Phoenix Restoration Project.

"So she is going to Hartford, and she is going to New York, a lot of people going all the way across the country," said Leah Sarat with the group.

Javier Rivera came with his wife and four kids from Honduras. "I'm emotional talking to you because we left a country where the violence is hurting our children. They kidnap them from school to kill them, I'm happy to be here," he says.

So where are they going? They're going to Houston to stay with Javier's mother-in-law.

To Randy Pullen, the former head of the Arizona Republican Party, this is not a good situation.

"Absolutely it is a failed policy from the Obama administration, and this is unintended consequences of what happens when your policy fails," said Pullen.

The undocumented immigrants are supposed to check in at a local ICE office near their destination within 15 days. How many will do that and how many will simply slip under the radar is an open question.
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