Border Patrol Uses Video to Interview Migrants

Border Patrol Uses Video to Interview Migrants

"The downcast faces on computer screens are 1,500 miles away at a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Tex. — a 20-year-old Honduran woman arrested after rafting across the Rio Grande and a 23-year-old man caught under similar circumstances.  Four agents wearing headsets reel through a list of personal questions, spending up to an hour on each adult and even longer on children. On an average day, hundreds of migrants are questioned on camera by agents in San Diego and other stations on the U.S.-Mexico border.  The long-distance interviews — introduced last year in El Paso and extended to California — are a response to the dramatic increase of Central Americans crossing the border in Texas that has flooded immigration facilities with hundreds of women and children. The Border Patrol does not have the staff to process all the immigrants crossing in the Rio Grande Valley, but faraway colleagues have time to spare.  The remote video processing highlights a predicament that has bedeviled the Border Patrol as it struggles to keep up with constantly-shifting migration patterns: Many agents wind up stationed in places where crossing activity is slowest." - Elliot Spagat, AP, June 29, 2014.