More migrants every 3 days, for how long? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

More migrants every 3 days, for how long?

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Here in Southern California, we could be welcoming flights and buses filled with mostly migrant children for weeks, if not months.

Since October of last year, an estimated 52,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border illegally in Texas. Detention centers there are overwhelmed, forcing the federal government to transfer migrants elsewhere.

It's something legal analyst Dan Eaton says they have the power to do.

"The fact is that under the United States Constitution, the federal government has overall responsibility for immigration policy," Eaton said.

While Border Patrol can turn back Mexican children at the border, laws are different for children coming from non-contiguous countries, or countries that don't touch the U.S.

Children must be taken into custody, transported to the Health and Human Services Department and then placed with a relative or guardian within 72 hours while they wait deportation hearings. The problem is, there aren't enough officials to help meet that 72-hour timeline, and the law can't be immediately changed.

"The president's executive order couldn't override what the Congress enacted in the way these children have to be treated," Eaton said.

President Obama has asked for $2 billion to help combat the problem by hiring immigration judges and opening up more detention centers. It's a slow-moving process that will likely get worse before it gets better.

"There is not going to be a quick fix to this problem. The problem will be resolved, but it will not be resolved as quickly as the people who live in communities would like," Eaton said.

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