Immigration - Texas Two-Step Style
Normally, Texas governor “Crotch” Perry doesn’t venture too far off the reservation. Texans apparently “get him,” the rest of us, not so much. But this week his buddies on the House Homeland Security Committee transported themselves to Texas for something they call a “field hearing” titled “Crisis on the Texas Border: Surge of Unaccompanied Minors.”
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families recently announced that the U.S. had apprehended 24,668 unattended youths at the border in fiscal 2013, and officials expect the annual number to reach nearly 60,000 by the end of 2014.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said this week that more than 50,000 unaccompanied children have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico, with nearly two-thirds of them traveling through the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
The discussion comes days after Obama signaled he has lost all hope of Congress overhauling the nation’s immigration laws this year. He announced Monday that he will redirect more resources to the border for enforcement efforts, adding that he would use executive actions to “fix as much of our immigration system as we can.”
The governor, of course, was invited to testify during this “field hearing” and plunged right into the deep end without his swimmies.
Currently Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is leading the government’s response to the influx of unattended children, with housing, medical treatment, transportation and other forms of assistance.
Governor Perry would prefer “boots on the ground,” specifically Texas National Guard boots because . . .? well, he’s not quite sure why . . . but he’s pretty confident that “the power of boots on the ground cannot be overstated” . . . because children find soldiers scary? Because Republicans believe in the “joojoo eyeball” of militarization to solve all problems?
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), arguing the side of sanity, said:
During our briefing this morning, we were told that this is not a matter of catching them. These children are running into open arms, so wouldn’t additional border patrol agents only increase the number of open arms that these children are running into?
And, of course, if Crotch is feeling threatened and beset by the children’s crusade, as governor, he has the authority to deploy the Texas National Guard, but the governor would prefer that the “out of control, overspending federal gubmint” foot the bill. Which leads one to wonder how well Texans would fare if their secession wish were granted and they had to solve such problems on their own?
Of course this current crisis is Obama’s fault because . . . what isn’t (save happy stuff like the jobs report and the Dow Jones rise)?
Except that, well . . . it’s not:
It was former President George W. Bush who, in a presidential flourish of compassionate conservatism, signed into law the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Under that law non-Mexican unaccompanied minors who cross our borders cannot be turned away. They are considered refugees and are handled by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
They are either placed with a relative residing here, or put into long-term foster care. They cannot be deported and many of them come from South and Central American countries who refuse to repatriate them anyway.
As far as the current president is concerned, he’s on it, just not necessarily dancing to Perry’s tune which is something like “get down here and look at this border then put some boots on the ground.”
White House press secretary, Josh Earnest had this to say:
The president’s getting regular updates and has a very good sense both of what’s happening there on the ground and how effectively resources are being deployed to confront those challenges. The reason that some people are suggesting the president should go to the border while he’s in Texas is that they’d rather play politics than to try to address some of these challenges.
There is of course a third way out of this mess and that would be for Governor Perry to clamber up on his bully pulpit and persuade Republicans in Congress that it is critically important that comprehensive immigration reform be passed—yesterday. But, evidently that would be too heavy a lift for the decrepit GOP.
So Perry, and most Republicans, would prefer to use the issue as a political club to force militarizing our southern border and, as Perry warns:
Hmmmmm . . .“If we don’t do that, I will suggest to you that the American people will address this in a number of different ways, electorally and otherwise.”
Now, I don’t speak Texan but that sounds an awful lot like a Second Amendment Solution to me . . .