Sheriff Arpaio speaks out about migrants being bused to Phoenix - KMSP-TV

Sheriff Arpaio speaks out about migrants being bused to Phoenix

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Immigration Officials are moving hundreds of Central American migrants from Texas to Arizona, as part of controversial program to deal with the influx of migrants entering through Texas. Officials say they don't have the manpower to process all the migrants in Texas.

The program is angering both sides of the immigration debate. Immigration activists are saying the government is busing the migrants around in poor conditions. Those for stricter immigration laws, including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, are questioning why the migrants aren't being deported.

"They out to be going to another country, we are not another country, are we in Arizona? They picked the wrong country if they are illegal, why are they coming to Arizona?" said Arpaio.

But before these migrants can be sent back to their home country, they first have to go through our legal system. Sheriff Joe Joe Arpaio says he would take action if he could.

"If I had the federal authority, and I don't, they took it away from me...I'd put my federal hat on and arrest them if it was a crime," he said.

Xavier Rivera is among the dozens dropped off at the Phoenix Greyhound bus station Thursday morning, as ICE shuffles hundreds of migrants around to deal with the immigration surge in Texas.

Rivera says he came with his four daughter fleeing violence, from Honduras through Mexico, onto Texas. But after being detained in Texas, ICE flew him and his family to Boston and then bused the family to Phoenix.

“The immigration in Texas is very full. A lot of families are coming with kids,” said Rivera.

In the last few days volunteers at the Greyhound Bus station in Phoenix who are helping the migrants say they've seen more women and children being bused in.

"Women telling me about children vomiting, dehydrated...so my concern is they are not being treated with dignity and respect," said Leah Sarat, who volunteers with the Phoenix Restoration Project, which is helping the migrants.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio agrees.

"My problem is the kids, it's getting hot and you just dump them off at the bus station? Who's going to take care of the kids? Is that humane? No it's not humane," he said.

Meanwhile, Rivera and his family waited at the Phoenix bus station for hours Thursday to board a bus back to Texas where their U.S. journey began nearly a week ago.

“I feel a hope for my girls, a hope to move forward and study,” said Rivera

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that the migrants must check in with the local ICE office in two weeks. Immigration officials say they are focused on deporting anyone with a criminal record.

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