Perry Testifies at Congressional Field Hearing
The thousands of children from Central America who are entering illegally into the United States are both a national security and humanitarian crisis, said Governor Rick Perry of Texas on Thursday at a South Texas Congressional Field Hearing.
Over 52,000 children who were unaccompanied have been detained by authorities since October of 2013.
Three fourths of those children are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The children have said they were fleeing devastating poverty and deadly gang violence.
The hearing that the Homeland Security committee from the House of Representatives held in McAllen concluded there is a humanitarian crisis that was agreed upon, but members disagreed about its possible solutions or roots.
The discussion at the hearing reverted frequently to securing the U.S. border, which has stalled the attempts of comprehensive reform in the immigration system in the House.
Perry said the waves of younger immigrants was due to the failure of the government to secure the U.S. border and because of recent changes made to the immigration policy that has sent messages south of the border that if children arrive they will be permitted to stay.
Perry and Republican Party members of the HS committee announced the children should be quickly deported and that the National Guard should be used to help secure the U.S. border.
Perry says sending the kids back quicker sends a message that risking your life on a train or the many other ways you reach the U.S. is not worth it.
Sheila Jackson Lee from Houston and a Democrat in the House said she would support funding that would provide monies necessary to help the immigration courts move faster, but that quicker deportations were not a fix.
Perry has allocated $1.3 million each week until the end of 2014 for the Department of Public Safety as a way to help security at the border.
Perry also sent a letter to President Barack Obama inviting him to see firsthand the crisis.
The Obama administration asked Congress earlier for $1.4 billion to help transport, house and feed the children who were unaccompanied.