HOUSTON, Texas–During a House Homeland Security Committee field hearing near the Texas-Mexico border, lawmakers discussed the “humanitarian crisis” that involves thousands of illegal immigrants entering the country each day. Many, including Governor Rick Perry, have been adamant that the crisis will only get worse until the U.S. makes it clear that the migrants will not be allowed stay. But Texas Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson See, who spoke at the hearing, insisted that harsh action should not be taken against the migrants.
“This is not a national security crisis, this is a humanitarian crisis,” Jackson Lee said, attempting to utilize emotional appeals.
The Congresswoman blamed the surge in illegal immigration only on violence in the immigrants’ home countries. She said, “We need to continue to use the word ‘humanitarian.’ These children have been forcibly misplaced.”
Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, however, argued that those on the left refuse to acknowledge the actions and rhetoric of the Obama Administration which arguably encourages more illegal immigrants to cross the border.
McCaul said that during a hearing he attended last week, “no one questioned the fact that these [violent conditions in Central America] are not new. … What is new is a series of executive actions by the administration. Just this week the president vowed to take more executive action on immigration very soon. The message these policies are sending is that if you come you can stay.”
He continued, “In some ways this is true. These kids and families given notices to appear–it will take years to get thru the immigration system.”
While McCaul and others advocated for detainment and expedient deportation for the illegal immigrants, Jackson Lee would not accept such measures as being an effective solution to the crisis.
“It is very important to know that a massive deportation policy and mass detainment of children is not a humane thing to do” she said. “We must find a way to follow the law–the law that transfers children to HHS. … We should be cautious in rushing to judgement in any form that would detain children.”
Jackson Lee continued, “Anyone who has spent time…listening to the Border Patrol agents, they will tell you these are the most orderly behaved children who simply want opportunity to escape the murderous conditions from which they flee.”
Despite the left’s attempt to portray the mass group of illegal immigrants in a certain light, there have been reports that some of the border “children”–most of whom are between the ages of 15 and 17–have cartel ties. Art Del Cueto, the Tucson Border Patrol Union president, told Judicial Watch, “They’re not all little kids. Some are 17 years old and they have possible ties to gang members yet they will be relocated in the U.S.”
Federal agents are relocating and then releasing many of the illegal immigrants onto U.S. soil, without the ability to verify the foreigners’ identity.
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–told Breitbart Texas, “Once [the immigrants] get processed, because there are not enough holding facilities, they’re scheduled for [an immigration] hearing sometime in the future. They promise to show up then get released. They then [often] call up relatives in Central America and tell them they got released.”
He said that ultimately, a lot of the migrants never go to court–many end up being forgotten about by authorities or get “lost in the woodwork.”
It is unclear how the crisis will be handled moving forward, especially given the disagreement between the left and the right surrounding its root cause.
Follow Kristin Tate @KristinBTate.