Debate on border crisis continues

Governor Perry and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee weigh in on their very different calls to action
The steady, unmanageable stream of undocumented children illegally entering the country is a problem that's not going away. And today, elected leaders were again talking publicly as what they see as the best way to cope with it.

Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says she just returned from South Texas.

"I watched little faces pressed up against glass jails and tears come down their eyes," said Jackson Lee.

She visited some of the thousands of undocumented children in limbo along the border.

"America is good enough and wise enough and welcoming enough to handle these children in a temporary facet," she said.

What to do with the children fleeing violence in Central America and how to manage them has seemingly become a sudden priority in Washington and here in Texas.

Governor Rick Perry was the first to testify last week at a Homeland Security committee meeting in McAllen. He was critical of President Barack Obama then and again on Sunday morning, saying the administration is inept of does not care about the estimated 50,000 children who've illegally crossed the border so far this year.

"This is a failure of diplomacy. It is a failure of leadership from the administration in Washington, DC," said Governor Perry.

He says he gave the president a letter in May 2012 asking for help. Saying securing the border is the only answer.

"Unless we secure our southern border, this is going to continue to be a massive amount of individuals that are coming to the United States. And, frankly, we don't have a place to house them as it is," said Perry.

Homeland security Secretary Jeh Johnson has made two trips to the Texas border in recent weeks to see the crisis firsthand. This morning he said the federal government is doing everything it can to stem the tide and speed up the process by which undocumented children are sent back home.

"We keep reminding parents of the dangers of sending your children unaccompanied on this journey, this long 1,000-mile journey, and that there are no free passes once you get here," said Johnson.

Jackson Lee says mitigating the influx and dealing with those who are here should trump the politics of it.

"I don't think we should engage in a blame game. And today I'm calling on the faith community to rise up across America and begin to respond to the temporary status of these children," she said.

Jackson Lee says she's reached out to FEMA, to Homeland Security, and to church leaders to find a humane way to temporarily house the children. She supports increased funding to speed up the process by which the children are put through the system.

Governor Perry wants money for border security and reimbursement for the daily costs to the State of Texas ---associated with caring for the children.

Bishop Mark Seitz said many younger immigrants coming to this country are risking their lives to get away from dangerous gangs in southern Mexico and Central America.

"We just need to find a way, first of all, to receive them according to existing laws that say we, we must receive people who are seeking asylum," said Bishop Seitz. "In fact, they are not illegal if they are coming under those circumstances."

The President has asked congress for $1.4 billion to house, feed, and transport unaccompanied immigrant children.
Related Topics:
politics texas news rick perry border patrol president barack obama
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