Friday, July 11, 2014

Perry maintains pressure on Obama over border, priorities

Perry, Abbott blame Obama Administration for playing politics instead of working on the problem 

 
Gov. Rick Perry attends briefing on border situation | PHOTO CREDIT: Texas Office of the Governor (Public Domain)

AUSTIN, Texas, July 11, 2014 -- Governor Rick Perry maintains pressure on the Obama Administration over border security and the flood of illegal alien minors entering the US.

On July 10, 2014, Perry accompanied several people including news commentator Sean Hannity on a tour of the Rio Grande Valley. This was the day after Perry met with Obama to discuss border issues. Perry urged the President to tour the Rio Grande, the border, and the detention and processing centers currently housing the children. Obama refused the tour but accepted the meeting.

In a statement released on July 9, Perry stated:

Five hundred miles south of here in the Rio Grande Valley there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding that has been created by bad public policy, in particular the failure to secure the border. Securing the border is attainable, and the president needs to commit the resources necessary to get this done.

 Perry forwarded several requests and suggestions to Obama including the following:

• Visit the Texas-Mexico border to witness firsthand the impact of the border crisis;
• Deploy an additional 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to immediately enhance border security operations;
• Direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the National Guard to utilize Predator drones along the Texas-Mexico border for identifying and tracking human and drug trafficking;
• Medically screen all illegal immigrants to ensure their health and the health of our citizens;
• Direct the Centers for Disease Control or another appropriate federal agency outside the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct, in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), inspections of facilities in which illegal immigrants, including UACs, are being housed to ensure accepted international and national emergency sheltering standards are met;
• Modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration, including:
     • DHS Catch and Release policies by which DHS issues an illegal immigrant an NTA before an immigration judge and releases them. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 33 percent of those released on their own recognizance failed to appear in FY 2013.
     • Deportation policies and procedures that prohibit UACs from countries other than Mexico and Canada from being immediately repatriated back to their country of origin. After DHS processes these UACs, they are issued an NTA and delivered to a sponsor or relative in the United States, regardless of the relative's immigration status.

To punctuate his stance on the current border issues and the health and humanitarian crisis created by the mass of illegal alien children who entered the US via Texas so far, Perry issued the following editorial:

President Obama's appropriations request only deals with one aspect of the current crisis on our southern border, while barely addressing its root cause: an unsecured border.

Of the $3.7 billion in President Obama's request, only a small fraction is directly dedicated to border security efforts, which are absolutely essential to resolving this crisis, and avoiding more such crises in the future.

Everything else is only treating a symptom of a much-larger problem. And as we know with treating symptoms, the problems will continue until the root cause is resolved.

As governor of Texas, I've been to the border many times, including a June trip to visit a detention facility in McAllen, Texas. The true humanitarian disaster has to be seen to be understood, which is why it's essential the president make his own trip there as soon as possible.

The fact is, this is a crisis created by failed federal policy, and a lack of will to dedicate the resources necessary to secure the border, once and for all.

This has been a problem for a long time. In Texas, we've spent more than $500 million since 2005 to supplement border protection, fighting transnational gangs and drug cartels conducting criminal activities in the border region. With the influx of immigrants further straining the existing federal resources that already weren't sufficient for the job, we've expanded our efforts to combat those elements seeking to take advantage of the situation.

President Obama should make securing the border the top priority in resolving this crisis. To begin with, he should send 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to support operations until sufficient Border Patrol agents can be hired, trained and deployed.

He should also direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drone flights along the border to identify and track those engaging in drug or human trafficking.

Ignoring the core problem will only cause more hardship, encouraging more people to leave their families and risk their lives to cross a desert in the middle of summer.

My hope is that Congress will expand measures that will enable us to finally secure the border, and that President Obama will sign it into law.

In addition, Texas Attorney General and current GOP candidate for governor Greg Abbott is attempting to file suit against the federal government for damages caused by the current crisis.