MISSED ON THE BORDER
July 16, 2014
By Rick Perry
In 2012, I alerted the
federal government to the growing problem of unaccompanied minors making the
treacherous journey across
In recent months, tens of
thousands of children have come across the border and are now housed in federal
facilities across the
I visited one of these facilities in June and saw these children, frightened and alone, who left their homes and families, survived a harrowing trip, and are now facing an unknown future. It was staggering to realize that this humanitarian crisis is not the result of a natural disaster, but of our nation's own misguided laws and misplaced priorities. It's nothing less than a moral outrage.
When I met with President Obama last Wednesday to discuss this crisis, I reminded him that securing the border is not only one of the core responsibilities of the federal government, it's also an attainable goal.
I made clear that this is
The porous border also leads
to increased crime, a stronger drug trade and the specter of international
terror. There have been numerous instances of illegal border crossing by people
from countries with ties to terrorism, including
This has been a concern in
my state for many years, which is why
As I told the president, the first step is granting my long-standing request to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border to supplement security efforts until a sufficient number of Border Patrol officers are hired, trained and deployed.
The president needs to
direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drones to monitor suspected
illegal activity along the border and track those responsible. He also needs to
work with Congress to revisit and modify existing laws, including a 2008 law
that unintentionally makes it harder to deport individuals from countries other
There also has to be an
increased federal emphasis on diplomatic efforts. We need to put pressure on the
countries where these children are coming from, such as
Everyone feels sympathy for the children housed in detention centers. But there is nothing compassionate about policies that encourage more young children to leave their families and travel to a foreign land. They are in extreme danger on every step of the journey, clinging to the tops and sides of trains and at the mercy of human smugglers. Letting them stay means that far more will follow.
The people contemplating
sending their children on a perilous journey to
Mr. Perry, a Republican, is the governor of Texas.