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The Border Patrol has apprehended more than 52,000 child immigrants traveling on their own since the start of the 2014 budget year in October.
Driving the dramatic increases in these immigrants is the recognition throughout Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that children who make the dangerous trip can effectively remain in the U.S. for years before facing even a moderate risk of deportation.
The Obama administration estimates it will catch 90,000 children trying to illegally cross the Mexican border without their parents by the end of the current budget year in September. Last year, the government returned fewer than 2,000 children to their native countries.
The situation is widely perceived as becoming a humanitarian crisis at the border. The system is now so overwhelmed that children are being housed in Border Patrol facilities ill-equipped to handle them.
The government has asked the military to open temporary shelters in Texas, Oklahoma and California. Sen. John McCain reportedly said over the weekend some may be sent to a military base in Washington state.
"What I want you to know about is how much this could cost you as a taxpayer here in Washington state."
Read: Dori's take
While some say the children should be sent back because they are illegals, KIRO Radio's Ron & Don say a majority of Americans, if they practice what they preach, should be helping these kids.
The one thing that we embrace as a nation collectively, for the most part, over 90 percent of people in America say they are Christian and they believe that 2,000 years ago a man died on a piece of wood for them.
If you believe that, there's no way that you could take a 1-year-old or a 2-year-old or a 5-year-old and send them back to a place where you know it will be complete terror and peril for them. The danger is one of the reasons why they've come to our doorstep in the first place.
If we can spend a trillion dollars on a war that we're finding out so far has not worked out so well — you look at what's happening in Iraq, we spent a trillion dollars, we lost 4,500 souls, 33,000 men and women came back, some without arms, without legs, with traumatic brain injuries, and then you think emotionally what it has cost - how can you spend a trillion dollars on a war like that, and then when you have toddlers come to your border, go ah, you know what, they're here illegally, we can't afford to help them?
Because if you're one of the 90 percent who believe that we're a Christian nation, if you really ask yourself, 'what would Jesus do?' because that is what a Christian does - he had two big concerns: He was very concerned about the poor. Then he was very concerned about the kids and about the children.
You remember the times people tried to shush the children away from him when he would speak. He would shush them and say bring the children closer. Now here we have a perfect storm of really poor children and you're going to say, well they're here illegally, send them back. That to me is a bunch of crap. If you're going to say you're a Christian nation, you can't do it.
Years ago when we worked nights, and we were here until 1 or 2 in the morning, there was a cleaning crew that came through and I got to talking to one of men on the crew. I asked where he was from. He told me he was from Central America. I asked how he got here. He said, 'I jumped on the back of a moving train when I was 12 years old and I went as far as I could go on that, then I found a motorcycle and I rode that from Mexico to Seattle.'
There was just a recent story about it. They call it the death train. Hundreds and hundreds of people will just jump on these trains and some of them get killed, some of them get maimed. All kinds of horrible things happen.
I just invite people to think about what it would take in your life to give your child up and put them on a train to get out them out. I can't imagine saying my life is so bad I'm going to stick them on a train and send them to another country. That is a different kind of desperation.
I second what Don says. America is big enough to accommodate every single one of these kids and show them a better life.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.