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Officials say 5 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is ground zero for illegal crossings

The epicenter of the recent surge in illegal immigration is a 5-mile slice of deep South Texas that has become a hot spot for migrants, human smugglers and drug cartels.

This part of the U.S.-Mexico border near the town of Mission bristles with cameras, lookout towers and heavily armed patrols.

Just since October, the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector has made more than 194,000 arrests, nearly triple that of any other sector. Most are from Central America, and many are children.

They often turn themselves over to authorities after crossing the river, knowing they will eventually be released.

Parents with young children and young children traveling alone are often permitted to remain in the U.S. while their immigration cases move forward, a process that can sometimes take years.

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