HOUSTON, Texas–On Thursday Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke at a House Homeland Security Committee field hearing near the Texas-Mexico border, where lawmakers discussed the thousands of illegal immigrants entering the country each day. Perry wasted no time stressing that the migrants–many of whom are minors–must be sent back to their home countries as soon as possible.
“Nobody is doing any of these children the slightest favor by delaying a rapid return to their countries of origin, which in many cases is not Mexico,” the governor said. “Allowing them to remain here will only encourage the next group of individuals to undertake the same life-threatening journey. Those who have come must be sent back to demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, that risking their lives to cross Mexico and enter our country simply isn’t worth it.”
He mentioned that because Border Patrol agents are stuck taking care of the children in facilities, there are fewer agents actively patrolling the border. Because of this, Perry said “the border between the U.S. and Mexico is less secure today than anytime in the recent pass.”
He continued, “We’re also in danger at the hands of those who might be slipping through from countries with known terrorist ties. With a range of potential threats facing us from abroad, this is not the time to turn our attention elsewhere. … Secure this border, Mr. President. Finally address this issue, put an adequate number of Border Patrol agents on the ground permanently.”
In Perry’s view, if action is not taken soon “the flow [of illegal immigrants] is not going to stop.”
While the U.S. federal government has launched a Spanish-language campaign to deter more prospective immigrants, Central Americans still have plenty of incentives to make the trek north. After illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the foreigners enjoy a slew of taxpayer subsidized benefits including food, housing, education, vocational training, recreation, and even legal counsel.
Subsequent to spending a relatively short amount of time in the custody of federal agents, most of the illegal immigrants are then released onto U.S. soil, promising authorities that they will show up in court at a later date for an immigration hearing.
But according to Victor Manjarrez–a professor at the University of Texas El Paso, former Chief Patrol Agent of Tucson Sector, and former Chief Patrol Agent in El Paso Sector–most of the migrants never appear for their court hearing. They eventually end up being forgotten about by authorities or get “lost in the woodwork.”
Despite any campaign or rhetoric from the Obama Administration, the illegal immigration crisis will likely continue to get worse until substantial policy places–ones that do not encourage more illegal migration–are put in place.
Follow Kristin Tate @KristinBTate.