HSI: Not all immigrant kids give up at the border

Agent: Some immigrant kids turn up in SA stash houses


SAN ANTONIO - The now-familiar images of Central American mothers and children surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol don’t always apply, according to Janice Ayala, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations.

“Not all of them are turning themselves in and there are still children being found in stash houses,” Ayala said. “We have come into contact with unaccompanied minors on the border and here.”

Ayala said Homeland Security investigators have learned many immigrants, including unaccompanied minors, remain set on heading north rather than give themselves up to border agents.

She said whatever the reason, "Some people are continuing with their journey.”

Many of those journeys take them through San Antonio, the closest major hub city to the Rio Grande Valley where the new arrivals first cross the border into the U.S.

But even before the waves of immigrant children that are now diminishing, Ayala said San Antonio already had seen increases every year for the last several years in human smuggling activity.

She said San Antonio’s intersecting major highways make it an ideal setting for staging smuggling operations.