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US Illegal Immigration News: Jeh Johnson and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Tour Arizona Facility, Share Stern Views on Unaccompanied Minors

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First Posted: Jun 26, 2014 11:27 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appears before a House Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill. The committee was hearing testimony on the growing problem of unaccompanied children crossing U.S. borders.
(Photo : Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer visited the Border Patrol Facility in Nogales, Arizona Wednesday, and both shared stern views on the influx of unaccompanied children, mostly from Central American, crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

Johnson and Brewer toured the Nogales facility which holds about 900 unaccompanied minors, Associated Press reports.

Johnson had a warning for Central American families.

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"I want to continue to emphasize to all those who are listening, including the parents of kids, parents that may be considering sending their kid from Central America, that this journey is a dangerous one, and at the end of it there is no free pass," Johnson said according to AP. "There is no 'permisos' for your children to come to the United States."

Brewer has long been a critic of President Barack Obama's immigration policies. On Wednesday, the Republican lamented over the lack of control state authorities have on immigration and named a federal lawsuit against Arizona's SB1070 immigration bill as an example.

"Dang it, the federal government has a job to do," Brewer said.

AP reports that the children being held in Nogales will be processed and then given to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for removal proceedings. Often, these children meet with family members in the U.S. before their immigration case is finished in court.

"I have to say that the kids, while this is not an ideal situation, look as if they're being well-taken care of under the circumstance," Johnson said.

Over 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been caught by Border Patrol agents since October, including 9,000 in May. Most of them were found in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. The town has exhausted its resources in taking care of the children. Currently there are additional facilities being set up in Tucson, Arizona and Artesia, New Mexico, hometown of the Border Patrol training academy.
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Follow Scharon Harding on Twitter: @ScharHar.

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