Immigration crisis receives national, international attention

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By Amanda A. Taylor—

McALLEN — The recent unprecedented influx of Central American immigrants into South Texas has drawn national and even international attention, triggering media coverage across the globe because of its implications for Texas, Washington, Mexico and Latin America.

Monday was an example of media hordes jumping from news conference to news conference, gathering to hear from elected leaders such as Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, State Senator Wendy Davis and, finally, Gov. Rick Perry.

Reporters from the New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian of Great Britain have made their way into the Valley over the past week as the story, and political response, continues to grow.

The media presence has provoked a tactical response from the U.S. Border Patrol, whose agents were directed not to speak to reporters, to volunteers at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, who are shielding immigrants from the media out of concern that a traumatic journey may be exacerbated by the glare of the media spotlight.

“We’ve had crews here off and on for several weeks,” said Ted Oberg with ABC 13 from Houston. “We were here for Wendy Davis. There’s probably half a dozen of us rotating through.”

On a national level, news outlets such as the Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner and The Christian Science Monitor have all run reports detailing the border crisis, touching on the humanitarian efforts, politics and border security.

Internationally, London’s Breitbart News Network, Daily Mail UK and Al Jazeera America have all released articles describing the immigration crisis, and stories have also surfaced from Australia and Germany.

Articles have coursed online, many becoming viral, from media outlets such as The Texas Observer, San Diego Free Press, theblaze.com, The Washington Examiner, NPR, political blog burntorangereport.com, PBS and the Associated Press.

“I cover the border so I was going to be here,” said Julian Aguilar with The Texas Tribune. “I’m with the border bureau based in El Paso, but I come to the Valley at least once a month.”

With only three weeks into the immigration surge, the media attention South Texas has receivedmay only be the tip of the iceberg, particularly as speculation grows about what may happen next.

Last week, for example, newspapers in Mexico reported that Pope Francis was considering a trip to an unknown location near the U.S.-Mexico border next year.

And as officials from Austin to Washington have begun trekking into the Valley to see the situation first-hand, one reporter speculated how far it may go.

“I’m wondering if the president is going to come down,” commented Molly Hennessy-Fisk with LA Times in Houston.

Image credit: Jim Cole/AP

AP pull story chosen by Alejandra Arreguin.


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