McALLEN (July 3, 2014) Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a U.S. House committee Thursday in McAllen that in addition to the humanitarian crisis created by a flood of unaccompanied child immigrants from Central America, a crisis involving border security is looming.
Perry testified before the House Homeland Security Committee during a field hearing Thursday.
He attributed the escalating problems partly to recent changes in immigration policy that he says sent a message to Central Americans that if the children came, they would be allowed to stay.
Perry says anything short of deporting the children quickly will only encourage more to undertake the dangerous journey.
“Some might think allowing them to stay is a more humane option, I assure you, it is not,’ Perry said.
“Nobody is doing any of these children the slightest favor by delaying a rapid return to their countries of origin, which in many cases is not Mexico. Allowing them to remain here will only encourage the next group of individuals to undertake the same life-threatening journey,” he said.
“Those who have come must be sent back to demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, that risking their lives to cross Mexico and enter our country simply isn’t worth it,” he said.
He also said the National Guard should be brought to the border to secure it.
More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October.
Three-fourths of them are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and say they are fleeing pervasive gang violence and crushing poverty.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, testified during the hearing that quick deportations of the children back to their home countries would be "inhumane."