Rick Perry: Illegal Immigrants Must Be Told 'You Will Be Sent Back'
HOUSTON, Texas--During a visit to Texas' Rio Grande Valley on Monday, Governor Rick Perry criticized the federal government's lack of leadership in dealing with the border crisis. Speaking at the Department of Public Safety Regional headquarters, he said, "The border is not secure. I think that is the single most important message that Washington, D.C. needs to understand today. The border with Mexico is not secure. There are literally thousands of people per day and it is unacceptable."
"I am incredibly disappointed that we have not seen more of Washington, D.C. leadership in the Valley to see what’s going on down here," Perry continued. "This is an absolute humanitarian catastrophe waiting to happen, and I do not understand why there has not been more interest in Washington, D.C. to secure the southern border with Mexico and the United States. And this is not just a Texas problem."
Perry said that Border Patrol has not been given adequate resources or manpower to deal with the crisis.
"They do not have the resources ... to do their job," the governor said. "This is an orchestrated effort that the cartels are involved with. Putting these young individuals in harms way to further their interests. And our government has got to step in."
Responding to claims that immigrants are entering the U.S. with hopes of amnesty, Perry insisted that the message in Central America must be clear: illegal immigrants will be sent back to their home countries.
"Individuals who are coming here need to be told by their countries that you will be sent back to your country when you get here," he said. "The message has to be loud, it has to be clear."
Under the current system, rather than being turned away at the border illegal immigrants are being provided with taxpayer subsidized shelter, transportation, meals, education, vocational training, and even legal counsel. On top of this, each week authorities are currently releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants onto U.S. soil--most of the illegal immigrants will ultimately be allowed to stay in the U.S.
It is easy to imagine that the release--coupled with the benefits while in custody--only further incentivizes more illegal immigration.
"We have to deal with this, and we have to deal with it now before it gets even worse," Perry warned. "Washington needs to pay attention to a major pending disaster. Texas is going to do its part, but we cannot do this alone."
Follow Kristin Tate @KristinBTate.