Testifying at a House Homeland Security Committee field hearing in McAllen, Texas, Gov. Rick Perry said the president should deploy the National Guard to secure the Texas border and send unaccompanied alien children and alien families back home. He also wants the federal government to reimburse Texas for expenses related to dealing with illegal immigration.
Perry said the unaccompanied alien children (UACs) should be returned to their countries rather than released to an adult in the U.S. "Allowing them to remain here will only encourage the next group of individuals to undertake this dangerous and life-threatening journey here," Perry said. When the Obama Administration releases UACs to adults in the U.S., no checks are done to determine if they are legally present.
The governor said Texas has spent $500 million on securing the border since 2005 and wants reimbursement from the federal government. "We have been fulfilling a federal responsibility," Perry said. "The hardworking people of state of Texas shouldn't be shouldering that cost." Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told Breitbart that the State of Texas is considering suing the federal government over the costs associated with the border surge. In June, Perry sent Texas Department of Public Safety agents to the border to shore up security. That effort is costing the state $1.3 million per week.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, led the field hearing, which was conducted just a few miles away from an area that has been overrun by border surge aliens. McCaul said the surge is transforming military bases into refugee camps. “I never thought I'd see this in the United States of America," he said. A number of bases around the country are being used to house the recent illegal border crossers.
McCaul said the Obama administration did not prepare to deal with the influx, which has grown exponentially over the last few years. "This has left state and local officials to fill the void," he said. McCaul blamed the surge on a series of administrative actions Obama took to ease deportation policies for so-called Dreamers and other illegal aliens. He said Obama “could cause it to be worse" if more executive amnesty measures are adopted as promised.
McCaul agreed with Perry that the solution is to send a signal by deporting those caught crossing illegally. He said that allowing them to stay is not the humanitarian response. "These children are often subjected to beatings, starvation, sexual assault and are at risk of being trafficked."
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., released a statement today that echoed Perry’s and McCaul’s call for addressing the surge with "deterrence." Goodlatte had just returned from a trip to the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the border where he determined that the vast majority of UACs seek to meet up with their parents who are already in the United States illegally. He said these parents often had a role in smuggling them into the United States. He also said stringent environmental rules are preventing Border Patrol Agents from gaining needed access to federal lands along the border.
Read more in USA Today.