EL CENTRO – On Tuesday, at the weekly County board meeting, Supervisor Jack Terrazas, District 2, spoke about the recent busing of Central American illegal minors and adults to the Imperial Valley from Texas.
Terrazas said, “As the board point man, I have been getting calls from media across the states, including CNN earlier this morning.”
Michael Kelley, District 3, said all that arrived on the first bus had been processed, but processing is taking longer than first anticipated, so the arrivals have slowed until the previous group is processed before the next arrives.
The first group, once processed, was released to their destination, according to Kelley, but where that was, whether the illegals were required to check in once arriving at their final location, or whether they ever arrived or not is not known by the supervisors.
According to Terrazas, the US Border Patrol does the paperwork and checks out their health status before turning the illegal immigrants over to Immigration and Customs personnel.
County CEO Ralph Cordova said that he and a representative of appropriate county departments met with ICE to see what the county needed to do to care for the incoming.
According to Cordova, the federal agents were appreciative of the County’s willingness to help, and the County’s understanding of the necessity of bringing Texas’ overflow to the Imperial Valley.
Michael Kelley added that those released in the county were allowed to travel, but first, structured interviews about where they are going took place.
Kelley did admit that there was a potential of the illegal immigrants getting lost in the recesses of society.
Terrazas said that the immigrants were tested first in Texas and then again once they arrived in the valley. He said some were testing positive for tuberculosis, but scabies was a bigger problem.
The holding facility has containment for those that are sick or diseased, or carrying lice, and that they are also providing medical care, according to Terrazas. He also said that ICE was not hiring anyone from the community such as medical personnel.
According to ICE, every one was released to their destination; no family units had been left in the valley.
Cordova said that as the bus loads continue to arrive, processing will become smoother, as a routine sets in.