AUSTIN (June 23, 2014) Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis is calling on Gov. Rick Perry to declare a state of emergency along Texas' border with Mexico to "assist overwhelmed local communities” because of the surge of unaccompanied young immigrants.
In a letter Monday, the Fort Worth state senator such a declaration would alleviate pressure on federal authorities.
She's visiting the border and called the situation a "crisis."
Thousands of unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, have poured into the U.S. illegally recently.
“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,” she said in the letter.
“However, local counties, cities and charitable organizations are also spending already limited resources to meet the basic needs of these individuals and their families. Adequate food, shelter, clothing and healthcare are equally important,” she said.
Davis also wants Perry to convene a special legislative session to increase funding to city and county officials, first-responders and charities.
Some conservatives sought a special session as well, but want to focus on securing the border.
Davis also said Perry should push to fill federal judicial immigration vacancies, and for Texas to be reimbursed by federal authorities for immigration-related costs.
Perry's spokesman Monday said Davis should instead send her letter on to Washington and her "political ally" President Barack Obama.