Rio Grande Valley – a Texas community on the border of Mexico – is ground zero for the nation's newest immigration crisis. More than 52,000 children, some as young as 2, have crossed the border alone, without a parent. WRAL reporter Leyla Santiago and photojournalist Zac Gooch traveled to Texas to trace the path of the children, find out what kind of care they’re receiving and learn how the crisis is impacting North Carolina.


Unaccompanied children
Frequently asked questions: Unaccompanied children

Replay: Chats with reporter Leyla Santiago, Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page and immigration attorney Jim Melo


WRAL reporter Leyla Santiago
Behind the story: Leyla Santiago explains why she went to the border

Unaccompanied children
Influx of children crossing border from Mexico to Texas

Women, children cross border to flee danger
'They will kill anyone': Women, children cross border to flee danger

Stash houses help people cross border to Texas
Stash houses help people cross border to Texas

Mayckol Murillo
NC sheriff: 'What happens at the border doesn't stay there'


WRAL reporter Leyla Santigao
Video blog 1: 'I'm nervous for how I will react'

WRAL reporter Leyla Santiago
Video blog 2: 'Some of these folks bring over women and children'

WRAL reporter Leyla Santiago
Video blog 3: 'They are finding bodies'

WRAL reporter Leyla Santiago
Video blog 4: 'We are the only camera allowed'

WRAL reporter Leyla Santiago
Video blog 5: 'We do walk away a little beat up' 

Leyla Santiago, The Journey Alone
On the Record: More stories from the border

In an episode of "On the Record," reporter Leyla Santiago shares personal, emotional reaction and behind-the-scenes stories from her trip to the Texas-Mexico border.


State-by-state placement of unaccompanied children

Jan. 1, 2014 - July 7, 2014

Source: Office of Refugee Resettlement

US Southwest Border Patrol Stations

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection


WRAL reporter Leyla Santiago

Reporter Leyla Santiago

Leyla was born in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. She is bilingual, and her fluency in Spanish was an asset in reporting from the border. She is a University of Florida graduate and has been recognized for her work by The Associated Press and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

WRAL photojournalist Zac Gooch

Photojournalist Zac Gooch

Zac has been in broadcast news for 10 years. He won two Emmys for his last documentary, When Kern Burned, and another Emmy for news editing. He is from Virginia and has also lived in Alaska and California. 


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  • I-Defy Aug 7, 2014

    Ive noticed one thing in all this. Poltical Correctness trumps all, even human life. We are being invaded by disease carrying interlopers but we cant seal up the borders because it might hurt someones feeling!

  • jemmee31 Aug 6, 2014

    View quoted thread

    ABSOLUTELY! Funny, they cry and it's called pitiful. We cry and it's racist. That's an old trump card that has been overplayed for too long.

  • johnnybgood Aug 6, 2014

    I haven't watched it and don't intend to. The piece is meant to pull @ your heart strings. If the parents of these children really loved their children they wouldn't send their children 5 miles down the road let alone several hundred for a better life. I don't care how bad it would've been for my wife and our 3 children there's no way I'd send my children on a wing and a prayer so, they could be in the USA and hopefully for us to follow.
    The US really needs to hold those countries responsible for allowing this to happen. I don't care how it affects the relationship w/said countries but, at some point somebody has to have the onions to say enough is enough. People think this is all about the children and to them I will say; I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'll sell to you. If you care so, much about the children why don't you invite one or several of them to stay in your home...that's what I thought.

  • Latina-American Aug 5, 2014

    I wish one they you all stay in the SAME situation or WORST!!! Be cause all of you need to learn the meaning of Love!!!
    "As you sow, so shall you reap"

  • Jeff Johnson Aug 5, 2014
    user avatar

    Send them home.

  • Jerry Sawyer Aug 5, 2014
    user avatar

    This piece makes me sick. We need to have the presidents of the subject countries take care of these people. They must be held accountable.

  • fitzra Aug 5, 2014

    View quoted thread


  • WralCensorsAreBias Aug 5, 2014

    We don't need to hear a word. We know all we need to know.

    They came alone, they can go home alone!


  • davidhartman Aug 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    No, actually they do not.

  • ETG Aug 5, 2014

    send them back asap