HOUSTON, Texas–When Texas Governor Rick Perry called for President Obama to deploy the National Guard on the Texas/Mexico border it would be easy to expect a backlash from left-of-center media in Texas. Surprisingly, that is not the case as Texas Monthly’s Burka Blog joined Gov. Perry’s call for action.
In Texas Monthly’s Burkablog this week, Senior Editor Erica Grieder wrote that Perry’s “request for National Guard troops on the border isn’t unreasonable and is probably, in fact, a good idea.” The comment comes towards the end of a blog post that provides excellent analysis of why today’s current situation where tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors and other Central American are invading the state of Texas in record numbers is different than other times of high illegal immigration rates in the past.
Burka’s blog cites a Department of Homeland Security document that was leaked by Breitbart Texas’ Managing Director Brandon Darby that details the description of the types and ages of people who are involved in the current immigrant invasion of Texas. The piece analyzes the report and states, “about half of the unaccompanied children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are boys between the ages of 15-17; young men at that age are probably hoping to work. The younger children and women, however, seem to be looking to rejoin husbands or relatives who are already here. “
Grieder goes on to write, “the OTMs in question aren’t the subset of immigrants who would be most directly affected by a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Calls for such, given the context, seem slightly opportunistic.”
She explains her view of the impact of President Obama’s 2012 executive order on the current crisis and the push back she received from members of the left-of-center media:
I’ve heard from a number of Democrats and journalists who’ve fiercely pushed back against my suggestion that Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order announcing a major change in how his administration would enforce America’s immigration law with regard to minors is worth noting in this context. The gist of their argument is that that since the order had terms and conditions, it’s ridiculous to suggest that anyone in Central America could have misinterpreted the order itself, or the president’s speech announcing it and calling on Congress to pass the DREAM Act, or the cavalcade of hope-and-change press coverage that followed, as suggesting that if they managed to make it to the United States, they would probably be allowed to stay.
The pushback on that point was so vehement that at times I felt that I was witnessing Democratic bias in the mainstream media. But let’s set aside Obama’s executive order for the time being.
Grieder explains her historical thinking on the illegal immigration problem and her perspective on it as a writer on economics. “That framework informed my view of policy debates about illegal immigration and border security,” Grieder said. “I was generally opposed to the border wall, for example: if illegal immigration can be explained by neoclassical economics, the invisible hand is probably going to have a greater effect on the number of attempted crossings than a physical wall would, and it’s certainly going to be cheaper. Border security seemed like an important issue, but a largely separate one.”
However, she explains how the current situation is different and different solutions now need to be applied. “The younger children and women, however,” Grieder explained, “seem to be looking to rejoin husbands or relatives who are already here. Some of them, depending on circumstances, may be more accurately described as refugees; either way, they can’t be considered de facto guest workers.”
Grieder concludes her post with a slightly backhanded compliment to the right wing opposition to illegal immigration. “The politics of this could be a lot worse,” Grieder wrote. “Texas has about 1.5 million unauthorized residents, a 1200-mile international border–that’s a legal reality, not a xenophobic fantasy–and, as mentioned above, a genuinely complex situation on its hands. Despite all that, our right-wingers haven’t been as vitriolic, for the most part, as their counterparts in California, or certain stretches of enlightened western Europe.”
“This is one of those historical junctures when Democrats would be well-advised to consider the possibility that plenty of conservatives aren’t crazy,” Grieder said. “Operational control of the border is a worthwhile goal, and one that would, in this case, help protect the immigrants, too.”
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
This article incorrectly attributed Grieder’s post to Paul Burka in its original form. The attribution has been corrected.