East Texas (Tyler) – In a statewide press release, Grassroots America, one of the largest conservative organizations in Texas, called on Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, and House Speaker Joe Straus to immediately address rising concerns among Texans that there is no visible sense of business urgency from state leaders to prepare the state and local communities for the effects of unrestricted and increasing illegal border crossings into Texas.
Grassroots America’s Executive Director JoAnn Fleming:
“We’ve had numerous conversations with state representatives, state senators, law enforcement officers, and investigative reporters on the ground at the border. We are very concerned that there is no visible sign of any urgency on the part of our statewide leaders to prepare Texans for what could be severe consequences of this border crisis.
When we posed this question – “Are you aware of any emergency preparedness meeting of state agencies called by state officials to discuss threats to public health, the impact on public schools, health care providers, law enforcement, and local communities, the answer has been ‘No. I’m not aware of any such discussions.’ We find that alarming and dangerous.”
We are extremely concerned about state law enforcement – our DPS officers, Texas Rangers, and game wardens on the border. They are understaffed, and while they are on the border, the interior parts of our state are under-supported. Border Patrol is overwhelmed. If state officials are serious about an all-out effort on the border, we believe it is time for Governor Perry to address plans to deploy the state guard.
We are also extremely concerned that our state officials have not assumed a pro-active offensive to deal with the impact the deluge of foreign school age children will have on our public schools. We have zero confidence that President Obama will rescind his executive order welcoming in children and young adults. If these illegal entrants are allowed to stay, they will be in public schools this fall. Who is preparing for this? At this point – nobody is.
The questions of resources, security, and health safety are urgent and immediate with so many school-age children crossing the Texas border. Our state officials should immediately begin emergency planning to address the wave of minor children that could be enrolled in Texas schools this coming September. It makes no sense to wait until the week before school starts to address what we all know is coming.”
Diseases Coming over the Border Require Immediate Attention from State Officials
Fleming concluded: “According to the Office of Border Health, the list of communicable diseases crossing the border is staggering and includes – but is not limited to – Chagas, Scabies, Tuberculosis, Leishmaniasis, MRSA staph infections, Dengue Fever, Hepatitis, Valley Fever, Measles, Pertussis, Polio, Chicken Pox, Pinworms, and Swine Flu.
We know that such illnesses increase logarithmically. In close quarters, one sick person can infect a thousand people who will infect thousands more. An exponential increase is entirely possible. This is a very real risk that can quickly get out of hand. Public health facilities are at risk to become overwhelmed, and Texans could face severe medical delays in parts of the state where there is already a shortage of health care providers.
Since there is a question about the level of medical screening going on at the border shelter facilities, we believe that not only is our law enforcement at risk, but with the busing of these children to other areas of the state, we believe the general public is at risk.
It’s time for our state officials to address these serious issues and tell Texans what they are doing to prepare. We are in uncharted waters, and based on reports we’re getting from the Texas Border Volunteers and law enforcement, no end is in sight. It’s time for our state officials to give their constituents some answers.“