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Aquí y Ahora - 21 de marzo, 2021

22 Mar 2021 – 12:00 AM EDT

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itionof "aqui y ahora," >> he said he would protectmigrant. that is why we are here to seeif you will help us protect our daughters.>> an avalanche of migrants is testing handling a newhumanitarian crisis. >> i asked the u.s. to protectme and my family. >> the tensions on border citiesare escalating between migrants who have waited for many monthsand the newly arrived. >> they are being exceptedthrough other border crossings. >> what will the government dueto face this emergency? >> if we do not resolve thiswith legislation and humanity, it will never be resolved.>> we speak with experts about false hopes, the legal optionsfamilies have when they arrived, and parents who hope to bereunited with her children. >> that is when they told me mydaughters could not be with me. >> the border: paths to a crisis. >> it was a week dominated byimmigration news. we will tell you what ishappening and what the implications are on both sidesof the order. >> on capitol hill, the votethat, if approved, could give a path to citizenship formillions. illiia: lets begin with thearrival of thousands of unaccompanied minors.angie sandoval reports from the rio grande valley.angie: the humanitarian crisis seems to have no end.nor enough resources to face it, according to the sheriff.>> it has been a little heavy. we have had more people sincepresident trump left. many are coming here thinkingthey can stay here in the u.s. angie: since the year began, heand the 17 sheriffs in his county have been working doubletime. >> they cross over here on theside. using inter-tubes.angie: helping the border patrol intercept undocumentedimmigrants who cross the river from many people do you catch per day?>> easily 500 that we pick up. angie: not all of them will beable to remain. >> walked three kilometers inthat direction. angie: the border patrol putsthat there so people do not get lost.he says the point is to help the undocumented migrant who comemostly from honduras, guatemala, and they hide from you or turn themselves in?>> they turn themselves in. angie: the city of eagle pass,texas, seems to be one of the preferred points for thesemigrants, who are fleeing the covid pandemic, misery, andviolence assaulting their home countries.this week, on a placid afternoon , a family crossed the river.>> i was able to make it here. angie: david sanchez and hiswife arrived with her two children from venezuela to askfor asylum. >> all i ask is the u.s. protectme and my family. angie: in the 300 miles betweeneagle pass and mcallen, texas, the stories of survival aremultiplied every day. >> we are asking for help.we do not have parents. angie: sometimes, the images areshocking, like these captured by resident who witnessed smugglerswearing masks who seemed unworried when they dropped offwomen and children. >> i dont understand howparents can let a child do that, knowing what is happening.angie: in the town, not everyone thinks the same way.>> there are good and bad people.we are older. they do something to us.we are from here. angie: her and her husband havethe border as a backyard. it was never a problem untillast week. >> it was 1:00 a.m. when a womanknocked. a group of undocumented migrantsacross the river and were asking her help.i did not know who else might be with them.angie: this crisis and its impact seemed to have taken thebiden administration by this town, mothers and their children spent the night in thistemporary shelter set up by the border patrol under a bridge.>> i do not want to be deported to my country.i want a future for my son. angie: the record numbers ofunaccompanied minors has forced the administration to open moreshelters, including a convention center.>> they need to work quickly to move them out of those shelters.angie: criticisms from pro-immigrant groups have notstopped. >> they need to make sureeverything children need, they are getting.are they getting classes? do they have beds?a place to go and play outside? all of these things cannot beaccomplished from one day to the next.angie: at the edge of the rio grande, sheriffs continuelooking for migrants who are lost.>> he is from honduras. angie: this is from a micro tocrossed? >> fell. angie: these objects are asignal that this zone has a lot of people crossing through it.when night falls, it is clear he is right.>> this group of young people, they say they came fromguatemala. they have a walking for over twoweeks. they do not even know they arein texas. they just want to stay in theunited states. he cannot hide his emotions.what does it mean for you to be here?>> it is my life. angie: the 17-year-old tells usthat during the journey through mexico, he and his sixcompanions were robbed of the few belongings they carried withthem. but none of that mattersanymore. what dreams do you have?>> go to school. get ahead.angie: according to him, before leaving guatemala, he memorizedhis uncles telephone number. he lives in washington state.his fate lit up when we told him he could use our cell phone tocall him. >> hello?uncle? >> hello?>> hello. >> yes, are you? >> i am good.i. texas -- an here in texas.i just wanted to say i have arrived.angie: like thousands of other recently arrived minors, he willhave to spend days or weeks in a detention center, where theywill check if he has a criminal past and will confirm hisrelationship to his uncle. he is not worried.>> i have arrived. that is the most importantthing. i made it here rate it was mydream to get here. angie: at the end of this path,the order patrol is waiting for him.the life he yearned for me be about to begin.>> when we return, across the border, resources and sheltersfor migrants are running out. share your♪ >> we just saw the complicatedsituation in texas. now we will go to the border incalifornia. the situation there worsens dayafter day. we see the faces and voices ofdesperation, hope, and even death.♪ carmen: jonathan cortez ran forthe wall where he and other salvadorans would cross using aladder. he went with his wifes cousin,where they would swim before crossing.>> we thought it would be easy. it looks call.-- calm. carmen: in this shelter, she hasbeen waiting so long for her asylum appointment that she gavebirth and has a child who is about to turn two.>> i have been patient. carmen: her mother is alone andvery sick in new jersey. she wants to arrive in time tosave her. meanwhile, through the bordercrossing in tijuana, more more people are arriving fromdifferent parts of the world, primarily from mexico andcentral america. they have been at a camp waitingfor a response to their cases. what will happen to us who arenot on a list? they live under precariousconditions with cold, rain, and wind.>> he said he would protect immigrants.we are here to see if he will help us protect our daughters.carmen: they crossed over the first wall and arrived at thesecond. >> i climbed the ladder i was doing that, i felt like i was kicked or something got myfingers. that is where i let go.i fell from the top of the wall. carmen: he was able to runanother 15 meters. and then he could run no more.the border patrol intercepted him.his father has lived in baja california for the past fiveyears. >> i didnt know anything abouthim. he was missing.carmen: it looked like conditions were right forcrossing. she left her children in tijuanawhy she met her husband in california.when they reached the sea, they had a surprise.>> it was too strong. we had no other option.we are here now. the goal was to do it together.carmen: they ran the risk. hand in hand, they continuedfacing the waves and tell one of them separated them.he turned around. >> i cried for help.carmen: local rescuers helped. they now had to communicate whathappened to their families. the children believed they wouldsoon meet up with their parents again in the the middle of this, migrants and shelters and the camp foundout that the border crossing point in the u.s. would beclosed through at least april 21.>> i feel desperate. carmen: she is talking aboutcrossing and giving herself up to american authorities.>> what many people are questioning now is if it wasworth feeling hunger, cold, discomfort to wait in line tocross, compared to what is happening at other parts of theborder where people are being accepted when they arrive.>> we have been waiting for two it turns out that through other borders, they are beingwelcomed. carmen: these are the complaintsshe hears more and more. she is the director of ashelter. she said what migrants mostlydoes information. the situation here threatens toworsen quickly. >> something that worries usright now is deportations have already increased from about 150to 400. we could not believe it.carmen: meanwhile, his father finally heard from his son.>> for me, it is unjust. it is inhumane.carmen: he was rescued by the border control.he had been immobilized because of his fracture.he was sent to a hospital in san diego where he underwentsurgery. >> the doctor told me i wouldneed a second surgery 15 days later.carmen: instead, he was released 16 hours later and the moment, a specialist is caring for him.his father says they do not have the resources.they hope the community can help his recovery.things are much better in their direct family member was able to identify the body because oftheir situation. she came from las vegas to she has another big challenge.>> give us a hand so these children can be with theirfather. now that they lost their mother.carmen: the situation in the camp is desperate.this is what oscar hernandez shared with us.he came from el salvador two years ago.>> they are arriving daily. i have been here two weeks.there are up to 25 whole families.when i came here, there were 300, 400 there are over 1000, i think.they get help but there is never enough.religious groups take some. but there they often waivers.all of this makes them consider taking extreme measures.>> leaving our children alone and seeing how we might be ableto reach them. ♪>> when we return, in the middle of criticisms, the governmentdefends itself saying they will establish a more humaneimmigration policy. >> there is a crisis on theborder. ♪>> the white house has a debate about what is going on at theborder. in congress, decisions are beingmade that could have big implications for roberts has been following the developments.>> president joe biden signed his economic stimulus plan ofalmost $2 trillion. there was other news that tookaway some of that optimism. it was the situation on theborder and the arrival of thousands of families andunaccompanied minors. the white house said everythingwas under control and there was no need to raise the alarm.they announced five steps were being taken to process minors ina more efficient manner. one of them was to activate ashelters that were at 40% due to the pandemic.>> the cdc has updated guidelines to return to fullcapacity. this will help move childrenmore quickly out of facilities. tifani: they have had toreactivate centers like this one in texas billed by the trumpadministration and 2019. it has a capacity to hold 700children 13-17. this has prompted criticismsfrom more liberal members of congress, like alexandriaocasio-cortez. she said this is not right, thisis never right, it does not matter who the administration isreferring to children and centers similar to prisons.the federal government converted the dallas convention center tohouse 3000 children while they look for relatives or sponsors.the white house does not want to call the situation a crisis.but it did activate the federal emergency management agency.>> to help ensure people have access to health and medicalcare. the numbers are enormous.this is a big challenge. it is certainly a reflection ofusing every lever of the federal government to address this.tifani: the government asked for help from the american redcross. and activated national his first testimony, he said it was not the first time thatchildren a lot -- arrived without parents.he resisted pressure to use a word to define the situation.>> would it be better called a crisis?>> a crisis is when a nation is willing to rip a nine-year-oldchild out of the hands of his or her parents and separate thatfamily to deter future migration.that to me is a humanitarian crisis.tifani: three days after that hearing, he made a trip withoutjournalists or cameras to el paso, texas, joined bylegislatures from both parties to evaluate the situation.most migrants crossing the rio grande valley.the head of this station shared his frustration on twitter withseveral photographs. two things happen simultaneouslyto create a lot of speculation. the u.s. announced a plan tosend vaccines to mexico. hours later, the government saidmexico would close the border with guatemala.the mexican president said the vaccines did not come withpolitical conditions. >> we are going to give inexchange what we have always given.friendship and cooperation. tifani: there are many skeptics.>> countries negotiate. the united states is not acountry that just gives things away.tifani: while authorities try to bring order to a situation thatseems chaotic, a group of legislatures came to taxes,headed by republican congressman kevin mccarthy.among the group were some hispanic legislators who tookadvantage of the situation to announce their intention topromote their own version of immigration reform.called a dignity law. >> my plan is to give 10 yearsof dignity to everyone who is here undocumented and has beenhere over five years who has paid taxes, has american-bornchildren, has property, hasnt committed a crime.tifani: the law has not been written does not offer a path to citizenship the way bidensproposal does. >> if there is a crisis on theborder, i have to say it is as a result of president bidenspolicies. tifani: republicans asked thegovernment accountability office to look into president bidenssuspension of the border wall promoted by president trump.they think the decision could be partly responsible for the waveof undocumented immigrants. >> differences were set asidewhen the house of representatives, with the helpof a handful of republicans, approved two bills that open apath to citizenship to dreamers, farmworkers, and people withtps. >> there are republicansinterested in this topic because of the economic problems.tifani: thousands of miles away from washington, on the border,the problem with children seems to be very complicated.according to a congresswoman from texas.>> we wasted billions of dollars on walls and the republicanpolicies that did not change anything.if we do not resolve this situation with legislation andhumanity, it will not be resolved.>> after a break, the drama of families who are waiting to bereunited with their children. >> it worries me to know thereis a family suffering. they have daughters whoselocation they do not know.♪ >>>> the grandmother we areabout to meet does not understand why she was crossingwith three children, she was deported with one, and two weredetained. a grandmother in mexico and amother in nebraska are pleading not to have them taken fromthem. >> i want to be with you everysecond. andrea: she had plannedeverything very carefully. she settled in nebraska and sheleft her two daughters with her mother.her daughters grandmother. >> i said i would send for them.the plan was to do so in a year. andrea: she never imagined apandemic, economic crisis, and a new presidency would delay herplan almost a year. >> the girls had been asking mewhen they would reunite with her mother.andrea: the youngest seem to be more affected by the absence ofher mother. >> she would wake up crying,asking for me. her hair began to fall out.the doctor told her she was ok but the only thing they couldimagine was this was due to stress.maybe she felt alone without her mother.andrea: she took refuge in her grandmother.>> she would say, can you lend me your hair?i knew that meant she wanted to go to sleep.she would play with my hair. she would tickle her nose withmy hair. andrea: in march, the situationworsened. the girls were sadder.their mother was in nebraska about to have another child thegrandmother had very little. >> we buy and sell furniture.because these are not essential goods, we have a lot of problemsselling them. andrea: they made a familydecision. >> we heard they were notletting people cross because of political asylum.we thought, this was our chance to go and request asylum.and then my granddaughters can be reunited with her mother.they were very hopeful. their mother was going to have ababy. andrea: the youngest told memom, i will be with you. i will meet my baby sister.♪ >> she packed the minimum andleft mexico city with the girls and her 15-year-old son.>> i think they were there for about a week at a hotel.trying to cross. >> i was frustrated.there were people who were going to cross.i crossed with them. andrea: once in the unitedstates, they were immediately detained by the border was 10:00 p.m. >> there were a lot of squadcars like we were criminals. i gave birth certificates forthe granddaughters and my son. andrea: she said she had custodyof the girls. >> i pleaded with them.asking them to listen to me. andrea: what most scared her wasthat she would lose the girls. >> i said, i dont know if thisgirl will be able to keep her mothers phone number or mightlose it. andrea: she was deported withher son back to mexico. the worst thing remained.telling the girls mother. >> i said this is what happened.they took the girls from a. she said there is a lot ofchildren. there is about 3000.i said, how will i find these girls among semi children?andrea: she says that prompted her to give birth prematurely.she was admitted to the hospital next day.>> i dont know what is going on with my daughters.andrea: she was expecting the worst.>> i dont know what will happen.all sorts of negative thoughts. this is my biggest year i willget them back. andrea: the grandmother thinksof her. ♪>> she would grab my hair and begin to fall asleep.that is what she would do every saddens me because i wonder how much she would be doing.this thing that she would do to calm down.andrea: three days later, she received a phone call from herdaughters. >> thursday at 4:00 a.m., theycalled. andrea: she had sporadicmunication, but they do not know where the girls are detained.we reached out to immigration and customs enforcement, betterknown as ice. they referred us to thedepartment of health and human services and border patrol.finally we were told they do not discuss specific cases,especially if they involve minors.they reached out to her, whose foundation in florida has helpedover 12,000 children of migrants.>> i am very worried when i know there is a family suffering.they dont know where their daughters are.this new ministration, we still do not know what the processeswill be like. in fact, we are very concernedbecause in my experience this is too much time.andrea: comedy days on average can a child be detained byimmigration "aqui y ahora angie: it is supposed to be no morethan 72 hours. andrea: why is there noreunification with the families? a lot more than 72 hours havepassed. >> we heard one of the reasonswas because of covid. andrea: in the meantime, she ishelping the mother fill out forms.she still cannot sleep. >> even now, days have passed.they are not with their family. that is not good for anyone.their mother was just with a newborn child.filling out paperwork. but fearful.>> i am afraid that at the end of the day, they will not givethem back to me. andrea: she holds onto the hopethat she will not have her children taken from her.and she will have her three. -- her three daughters togetherhome soon. >> when we return, expertsanswer questions that many immigrant families are askingthemselves. >> why are we seeing that theyare not prepared with enough places to house these children?♪ >> we have seen the images andheard the stories. we know the humanitarian crisison the border is a serious matter.i spoke with three attorneys, experts in the field, about themain concerns. president biden signed threeconsecutive orders concerning immigration.>> today i will sign a few executive orders.>> he sent congress an ambitious plan for immigration reform.and a plan to strengthen security at the border.this expert tells us what his plan means compared to theanti-immigrant rhetoric of former president donald trump.>> there is a lot of hope that the bite in the ministration.but what has really changed? >> at the moment, nothingtangible has changed. there is hope.republicans also want to submit another proposal.but nothing on a day-to-day basis has changed massively interms of immigration since the new administration.nonetheless, there is this idea that the borders are open and itis easy to cross. >> yes, i think what isconfusing is what has stopped is the rhetoric and the crisis thathad been generated previously by closing the border andimprisoning people. they were sent to a thirdcountry. that was creating a largerhumanitarian crisis. what is happening is what usedto happen before. people are being handled the waycongress says. >> the previous administrationapproved regulations that made it very difficult for immigrantsto prove they would not be a charge on society.that created a lot of unnecessary fear in ourcommunity. to accept any aid that wasavailable. >> they work with anorganization that provides need to low income immigrants.>> i thing there is a difference in the public policy with thecurrent ministration. this bill has not been passedyet. we do not know what it will be.>> we know that the numbers of children and adolescents andunaccompanied minors since 2014 has increased.>> he has an immigration attorney in el paso, texas.they give representation to minors.they often talk with families and children.we have been seeing this since 2014.why does the government seem to not be prepared for shelteringthese children? >> remember, when a child oradolescent comes to the border, they are not planning to stay inthat situation. the border patrol detains them,identifies them as minors. they need to be passed to adifferent organization. health and human services.we are talking about no more than 72 hours detained.>> the focus is on safe reunification.>> how is that process guaranteeing that a child whocomes to the u.s. alone can be placed in the hands of a sponsoror a responsible family member who will not treat them poorlyor that there will not be someone in the home who hascommitted crimes of a sexual nature?>> they always take fingerprints.sponsors have to go through an interview process.>> what are the rights that these minors have?>> one of the problems they have is they cannot defend themselveslegally because they do not have the capacity to do so.>> there are attorneys who have direct access to these minors.>> we provide legal services to children and adolescents.minors who are unaccompanied. we do speak with them once theyare in shelters. >> what advice would you givethem? >> i would tell anyone cominghere to ask for asylum. they will have an opportunity tohave a hearing. now we are looking at this.they will have to prove a case for asylum.>> this is bringing thousands and thousands of migrants fromcentral america. they are crossing the border.>> what would advice -- advice would you give someone who isconsidering leaving the country and coming?>> you have to consider there are a lot of risks.the border is closed at this do you battle disinformation in central american countries?this idea that the border is open and they are lettingeveryone in? how do you fight thatdisinformation? >> you have to pay attention.that is part of the work we are doing.having the correct information to children and adolescents sothey can make informed decisions.>> before we end, we want to show you the scope of theproblem. arrests on the border went from17,000 two over 100,000. just last week, according to theborder patrol. in the time between october andfebruary, authorities have processed over 29,000unaccompanied minors. over 14,000 are in shelters.>> this is a serious problem. it needs to be solved as soon aspossible. >> we will see you soon.thank you very much. we appreciate your presence.

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