What Immigration Bill Failure Will Mean on the Southern Border

By ABC News

Aug 1, 2014 6:17pm

Congress might be on the eve of vacation but on the Rio Grande Valley, near the US-Mexico border, it was just another wild work day for the Border Patrol.

By the time vacations end — 38 days from now — an additional 5,700 unaccompanied minors are projected to cross into the US illegally. That’s 155 a day.

Last month, 200 additional agents moved to the Rio Grande sector.  Two new air boats were added this week.

The Obama administration had hoped to pay for the surge in immigrants with emergency funding from Congress but that money is not coming.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill to provide $2.7 billion in funding to address the crisis of minors from Central America illegally entering the U.S.

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The refugees are not hard to catch. They hail from Central America and often turn themselves over to Border Patrol as soon as they hit the northern shore of the Rio Grande River.

One boy, 7, made the trip alone with his older brother but it takes manpower to round the refugees up.

Now both the Border Patrol and US Immigration and Custom Enforcement say they will be broke by mid-September and will be forced to once again start dropping mothers and their children at local bus stations, and abandoning the construction of family-friendly detention facilities like one in Karnes, Texas.

ABC News’ Jim Avila, Serena Marshall and Cindy Smith contributed to this story.

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