For nearly a month, the Southwest border, and especially the Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas, has been overrun with illegal border crossings, many of which have been unaccompanied minors while Americans have been forced to sit back and watch. That starts to change today as the House of Representatives brings the Department of Defense Authorization Act of 2015 to the floor, and a few Members are offering amendments to provide some relief to the Border Patrol’s efforts.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is offering an amendment today that will shift more funding to the National Guard, so border state governors can call up the Guard to help support overburdened Border Patrol agents. We’ve posted a phone note on yourAction Board along with faxes to governors for activists who live in border states.
It’s been widely reported that the Administration’s reasoning behind the illegal border crossing surge is unfounded. They’ve claimed that it’s due to economic conditions and drug violence in Central America, but even the Washington Post has reported that illegal aliens are acting on the Obama Administration’s invitation for minors to come illegally to the country. Its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has already shielded more than 550,000 illegal aliens from deportation and given them work permits.
Further, Univision reporter Jorge Ramos challenged Administration officials by blaming the crisis on U.S. policies:
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So, the official policy of the United States, as you have seen it in the state of Texas, is that whatever Central American child who comes to the United States is not going to be deported? Aren’t we sending an extremely powerful message to Central America that will mean that many more children will continue to come?
Now, the Administration is providing taxpayer-funded lawyers to greet unaccompanied minors as they enter the country who immediately file petitions for both asylum visas and Special Immigrant Juvenile visas (green cards) on their behalf in case one request gets denied. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the service is “to help those young illegal immigrants fight deportation.” We’ve heard reports that some have already received green cards.
The crisis has caused a dire situation for the Border Patrol. They lack the manpower and resources to process illegal aliens while also maintaining their guard of the Southwest border.
According to the Vice President of the Border Patrol union, Shawn Moran:
This is a failure of policy. Right now we have an immigration system designed to fail and our agents the border patrol agents nationwide — they’re stuck in the middle. They are doing the best they can with the resources they have. The border patrol is under siege in the Rio Grande Valley and yet, we have half our agents processing and we don’t know what is coming through.
While several Members of Congress have spoken out on this issue, Rep. Gohmert is the first Member to actually offer a legislative response to the growing crisis.