According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, more than 47,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the border into the U.S. in the past fiscal year, a number that could double in the coming months. The vast majority of these kids are coming from the troubled Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
The Arizona Republic has a team of journalists reporting from Central America and the McAllen, Texas-Mexico border working on a project that will attempt to fill in this pipeline from the impoverished neighborhoods these kids are leaving, to the Mexican-Guatemala border, then the rugged journey to the Rio Grande and the raft ride across the river, where they are almost immediately picked up by the Border Patrol.
The Arizona Republic's weeklong investigative "Pipeline of Children" project begins publication Sunday.
Reporter Bob Ortega and photographer Michael Chow are reporting from Central America, based in San Salvador and Guatemala.
Reporter Daniel Gonzalez and photographer David Wallace are reporting from the Rio Grande Valley, both sides of the border, based in McAllen, Texas.
Finding shelter. Many of the kids stop in shelters before they cross into the U.S. We will paint a picture with photos and words of the scene there. Do they know where their parents are? What do they expect in America?
The team is making daily videos from reporting locales available via the Gannett Video Production Center (VPC).