Texas, the second largest state by population and land mass in the nation has decided to take state funded action to protect its citizens from the multitude of illegal immigrants swarming over the border. The federal government’s inaction on border control poses a huge risk to the safety and security of not just Texans, but to all Americans. Texas has had enough of the ‘hurry up and wait” attitude adopted by not just the Obama administration but by the politicians in Washington. The priorities of these politicians are skewed by political ambition and party line agendas that do little to serve the nation but often serve to get them re-elected. If current trends are any indication however, these so-called public servants may be in for a shake-up come November 2014.
In a recent joint statement by Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state House Speaker Joe Straus, Perry said that the state cannot “afford to wait for Washington” and he has authorized a “surge” in border patrol activities. Perry further stated that his administration (ostensibly as opposed to the Obama administration) will not “sit idly by while the safety and security of citizens are threatened.” To facilitate this Governor Perry has authorized the Department of Public Safety to spend $1.3 million in emergency spending a week to further secure the Texas border by preventing illegal crossings and apprehending illegal immigrants who do successfully slip through security.
The surge includes air support and boots on the ground and comes on the heels of the tremendous influx of not only illegal immigrants from Mexico, but also those who have come from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras hoping to cash in on the Obama administration’s reputation for extreme leniency. These illegal immigrants are referred to by border patrol as “Other than Mexican” (OTM). Currently, there are three U.S. military bases overflowing with children who have been trafficked to the U.S. by families hoping to follow and this has created a humanitarian crisis with no practical solution in sight.
Many of these young children and teenagers suffered great abuse, including sexual abuse, by their smuggling “handlers.” The Obama administration is, in part, responsible for this abuse as it is the administration’s leniency on border security that serves to encourage illegal immigrants to sneak into the country. In fact, the OTM’s seek out border patrol agents with the understanding that they will receive at least minimal care and likely will not be deported but receive “permiso” to stay in the country. According to border patrol agents, this is due to the Obama administration’s policy of granting a free pass to women OTM’s traveling with young children. They simply receive a notice to appear in court on their own recognizance, a notice that generally goes unheeded and unenforced.
In the recent statement, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst accused the federal government of “abdicating its responsibility” when it comes to securing the nation’s border and “protecting this country from consequences of illegal immigration.” He also reminded people that Texans know “how to lead in areas where Washington has failed.” Indeed Texas does have a reputation for taking matters into its own hands and the willingness to take action when action is needed. For example, Texas has some of the toughest crime laws in the nation and the state does not shirk from implementing them, including capital punishment. In addition, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, who is also the Republican nominee for Governor, has filed over 25 lawsuits against the Obama administration. These lawsuits have ranged from issues with Obamacare and voting rights to environmental protection issues and gun control. Abbot is often quoted as saying,
I go into the office in the morning. I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home.
The issue of border security is not just critical for the state of Texas – it is an issue of national security concern. Whether the illegal immigrants are simply men and women seeking a better life, drug cartels seeking buyers, terrorists intent on massive harm or children trafficked to America in the hopes of becoming anchors for their families, the nation remains insecure as long as the federal government declines to fully and effectively act. Texas has taken the security of the state, and by extension, the nation, into its own hands by its willingness to invest state resources into the critical issue of securing America’s borders.
Opinion By Alana Marie Burke