HOUSTON, Texas–Next week at South Texas College in McAllen, a slew of Texas leaders will speak before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee. They will discuss the tidal wave of immigrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border each day, which shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.
Governor Rick Perry, Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Agent Kevin Oaks, and Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw will testify before the committee, according to The Monitor. The committee is chaired by Texas Republican Michael McCaul.
Many Texas officials have been adamant in their assertions that Border Patrol has not been given adequate resources or manpower to deal with the crisis.
Earlier in the week, during a visit to the Rio Grande Valley, Perry criticized the federal government’s lack of leadership in dealing with the crisis on the border.
He said, “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. 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–along with Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the Texas House Joe Strauss–recently directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to execute a border surge of law enforcement assets to respond to the flood of illegal immigrants entering Texas.
Many Democrats supported this move, including Democratic State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.
In a letter to Perry, Davis wrote, “The situation is untenable. Federal border agents and facilities are overwhelmed trying to address this human crisis instead of focusing on their first priority to secure our border from drug smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists. You took a solid step, which I support, to address that by increasing support to the Department of Public Safety to help along the border.”
While Texas officials remain concerned about the border situation, it is unclear how the Obama Administration plans to handle the crisis moving forward.
As it stands now, rather than being turned away at the border most 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.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.