Immigration Advocacy Groups Protest at Border Patrol Headquarters

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Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 9:06am

Now that hurricane season is underway and local immigration advocacy groups are concerned that whenever there's a mandatory hurricane evacuation that Border Patrol won't suspend immigration enforcement at checkpoints heading northbound.

Community groups and religious leaders gathered in front of Border Patrol headquarters in Edinburg on Wednesday morning. They say they're afraid that their loved ones who don't have proper documentation in this country will be left behind whenever evacuations are in place.

Rio Grande Legal Aid Attorney Stephanie Welch stated, "If they check everybody's documents going through Falfurrias its going to be a huge back up and no one is going to be able to safely evacuate the Valley, so for all residents in the Valley, it's really serious concern as we enter hurricane season.

Border Patrol spokesperson Rosalinda Huey stated, "We will do the best that we can to safely and rapidly evacuate and it doesn't preclude us from questioning people or subjects that we believe have a criminal history especially aggravated felons and so our main priority evacuate everybody safely and rapidly out of the danger zones and that would be our main focus assisting state and local agencies for the evacuation."

The advocacy groups have sent a letter to representative Ruben Hinojosa asking for a clear directive from local Border Patrol.

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