Bay Area congressman talks about border visit

Eric Swalwell spoke about his visit to the boarder where he investigated the ongoing crisis of children crossing the border.
The surge of young, undocumented immigrants sneaking into the U.S. is being called a federal crisis.

The U.S. is experiencing an influx of young migrant children and an East Bay congressman is looking for solutions. He shared his experience of meeting the young, undocumented immigrants at the center of the crisis.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, spoke to ABC7 News after he just returned from the Texas border where thousands of unaccompanied children are overwhelming border crossings and are being detained for processing. He talked to a 17-year-old boy from El Salvador.

"I asked him why he came here and he said for a better life and I understand that. He came here to seek what I was born with," Swalwell said.

In the past four weeks alone, 52,000 children have been apprehended at the border. Swalwell says it's complicated, sending every child back isn't possible and adding more border agents isn't the answer.

"We need to address the issues with our southern neighbors, but also have an immigration system that provides certainty here and lets people know that if you come here, it is not a safe harbor, that you do not receive instant citizenship," Swalwell said.

The crisis in Murrieta, California continues to spill over as protesters on both sides of the immigration debate refuse to back down.

"The temperature was over 100 degrees, then it got very politically heated," immigration rights advocate Joey Johnson said.

Johnson was there as groups of immigrants arrived by bus, after crossing into the U.S. illegally. He said, "We're talking about buses full of children, children that have been traumatized by making a journey of in some cases over 1,000 miles alone from Central America."

Murrieta protesters say they're not welcome.

"We're not going to stand for it. That's just how it is. There's thousands and millions of other people who've done it the right way, but for people to just come in here and ask for a free handout, that's my money," Murrieta resident Jason Woolley said.

The White House calls it a humanitarian crisis. The president visits Texas next week, but so far a trip to the border is not on his schedule.
Related Topics:
politics immigration immigration reform children barack obama border patrol u.s. & world Pleasanton Dublin Texas
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