Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Visits McAllen Border Patrol Station

Rep. Cuellar met with Border Patrol, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and unaccompanied children and other migrants

On Saturday, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28) toured the Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, meeting with the agents stationed there and speaking to the adults and unaccompanied children housed there.  He was joined by local officials from the Rio Grande Valley, including State Senator Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, State Reps. Sergio Muñoz, D-Mission, Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia. 

“This Saturday, I asked state and local officials from the Rio Grande Valley to join me in a tour so they could see firsthand the crisis we are witnessing on the border,” said Congressman Cuellar.  “In speaking to Border Patrol today, they commented to me that we cannot enforce ourselves out of this problem.  We need a change of policy and we need to find long term solutions.   I want to thank the men and women of Border Patrol for work they have done in the face of an extremely difficult situation. 

We have a humanitarian obligation to children who are crossing our border unaccompanied and I feel that Border Patrol, ICE, FEMA, HHS, and the Coast Guard are doing all that they can under the circumstances to ensure every migrant is treated with dignity and respect.  There is no strong protocol in place for dealing with Central American immigrants and some of the most important work left is to improve the process for returning them to their home countries.  The United States needs to do a better job in working with Mexico to strengthen their southern border and to work with the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.  In the past few days, I have personally spoken to the Ambassadors of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras and the Embassy of Mexico and I will continue working with them to address the problem jointly with a shared responsibility.”


Rep. Cuellar spoke with a number of children and adults at the McAllen Border Patrol facility as well as Border Patrol agents.  Please see below for notes from his interviews:


1.      Wendy

·         14 years old

·         Came with sister (age 17) and nephew (10 months old)

·         From El Salvador

·         Took 8 days to get from El Salvador to USA

·         Has her mother in Virginia

                                                              i.      Mother knows she was coming

                                                            ii.      She only has her phone number

·         She had a really bad stomach ache and headache

·         She spent a whole day on the US side before being captured

·         She left because of the violence in El Salvador

·         Wants to go to school

·         She used to live with her grandma

2.      Christian Daniel

·         14 years old

·         From El Salvador

·         Came with sister (11 years old)

·         They paid to come here

                                                              i.      Could not remember amount

·         Has a father in Columbus, OH

·         He investigated and knew it was “easier” through the Texas border

·         Says he came here to study

3.      Emilia

·         9 years old

·         Honduras

·         She spent 1 day lost in the border

·         Has a grandma in the North Carolina

·         Says she came here to go to school

·         She used to live with aunt

                                                              i.      She doesn’t know her mom and her dad passed away

4.      Andy

·         11 years old

·         Honduras

·         Lost on the border for ½ hour before being caught by Border Patrol

5.      Miguel

·         14 years old

·         From El Salvador

·         25 days to get from El Salvador to the US

·         Did not hire anyone, came here just asking questions

·         Came with no family

·         His mother is in Los Angeles

·         Crossed through Texas because it was easier

                                                              i.      He investigated by himself

6.      Domitilla

·         14 years old

·         From Guatemala

·         Took 20 days to get from Guatemala to USA

·         Has her Uncle , not sure or won’t say where

                                                              i.      Has not been in communication with family

·         She was apprehensive, not willing to talk about mistreatment from coyotes

·         She left because of the violence in Guatemala and for a chance at  a better life in the US, suffered from exhaustion, “forced to walk for miles and run to hide from authorities” slept outside in the heat.

7.      Abel 

·         15 years old

·         From El Salvador

·         Uncle in Florida

·         15 days from El Salvador to United States

·         has not been able to communicate with his family

·         Coyotes decided where to cross on Texas border

8.      Elvis

·         16 years old

·         El Salvador

·         17 days from EL Salvador to United States

·         Uncle in Los Angeles

·         Says he came here to escape violence, gangs had killed a friend and was told he was next , also wants to work, no jobs at home

·         Was injury running from coyotes and border patrol, does not need medical attention

·         Has been treated well by border patrol 


9.      Joanna

·         14 years old

·         From Guatemala

·         15 days to from Guatemala to United States

·         Came looking for her parents, parents immigrated 3 years ago, she say they live in Virginia 

·         Was accompanied by her cousin Mari, who was her care taker and her cousin’s baby

Her cousin was released, She is now alone

·         She came because she wanted to be reunited with her family

·         Her cousin paid 3,500 dollars for her passage


1.      Adriana

·         From El Salvador

·         Here with son (13 months old)

·         She didn’t want to cross

o   She was threatened by a Coyote

o   Had to give them all her money

o   They threatened to take away her son

o   She didn’t reach out to the Coyotes, they reached out to her

·         Only has a friend in Los Angeles

2.      Maria

·         22 years old

·         Here with two sisters (24 years old) and a niece (7 years old)

·         From Honduras

·         Escaping from the violence and abuse

·         Has a mother in law in Connecticut

3.      Esperanza

·         From Ecuador

·         Came here with no one else

·         Did not hire a Coyote

                                                              i.      Got here by asking people

·         She is leaving her abusive family

·         Doesn’t know where she is going, she just wanted to leave