Posted August 4, 2014 7:00 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:03 p.m. EDT

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.