Texas Governor Rick Perry announced Monday afternoon that he is sending 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexican border. “Over the years I have repeatedly called on the federal government to live up to its responsibility of protecting this great nation by securing the border,” said Perry, who added that he will “not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor.”
Under assault might be an understatement. According to Perry, more than 203,000 illegal aliens responsible for committing more than 640,000 crimes, including 3000 homicides, have been booked into Texas county jails since 2008. He further pointed out that the thousands of unaccompanied minors apprehended crossing the border comprise less than 20 percent of total influx and while enforcement agents are giving humanitarian aid to these children, “drug cartels, human traffickers and individual criminals are exploiting this tragedy for their own criminal opportunities.”
Perry’s contention about the percentage of children that illegally gain entrance to the United States was given substantial credence by the Obama administration itself. In a late Friday afternoon news dump aimed at minimizing media coverage, U.S. Border Patrol data revealed that while the number of unaccompanied alien children crossing the border has doubled to 57,525 in the nine month period from the beginning of FY2013 to the present, what the agency refers to as “family units” has seen a 493 percent increase from 9,350 to 55,420 over the same period. As the Daily Caller’s Neil Munro explains, the far more explosive growth of these family units “has been hidden by White House and agency officials, who have tried to portray the influx as a wave of children fleeing abuse and violence.” He further notes this portrayal “has been picked up and spread by Democratic legislators, reporters and bloggers” in an effort to mute the public’s anger regarding the Obama administration’s failure to secure the border.
In other words, a de facto invasion becomes a “humanitarian” crisis.
Perry was forced to address that portrayal on Sunday with Fox News’s Brit Hume who wondered if sending the National Guard to the border would actually work when children who have “undergone these harrowing journeys to escape from the most desperate conditions in their home countries” are confronted by troops “who won’t shoot them and can’t arrest them.” Perry replied that Hume was talking about “two different things” and that it was necessary to “send the message back now so that we can staunch (sic) the bleeding” even as the humanitarian crisis that already exists is addressed. “The issue is with being able to send that message,” Perry said. “The visual of it is more important. We know that. We listen to those conversations–or, I should say, conversations are being monitored with calls back to Central America–and the message is, ‘Hey, come on up here, everything is great, they’re taking care of us,’ and that needs to stop.”
The 1,000 troops are ostensibly a stopgap measure until Congress and the Obama administration address Perry’s request to hire 3,000 additional border patrol agents to work the Texas corridor. In a meeting with Perry and other officials in Dallas on July 9, Obama made it clear that despite Perry’s request he act unilaterally to address the crisis, he would not do so. “He suggested, well maybe you just need to go ahead and act and that might convince Republicans that they should go ahead and pass the supplemental,” Obama said. “I had to remind him, I’m getting sued right now by Mr. Boehner apparently for going ahead and acting instead of going through congress. Well, here’s a good test case.”
Nonsense. In 2006 George W. Bush ordered 6,000 troops to the border, (a number that has since dwindled to a current level of approximately 300) and Obama could do the same were it not for the reality that he prefers holding such action hostage to Congress passing his massive $3.7 billion emergency funding package. It is a package designed to remain in legislative limbo, as Republicans insist the primary focus should be stopping the influx at the border, while Democrats demand that the “humanitarian” crisis — in the form of new facilities and legal services — be the first agenda addressed.
In the meantime, the border remains a sieve.
Thus it was no surprise that Perry accused the federal government of paying “lip service” to the border crisis as he announced his deployment of “Operation Strong Safety.” He explained the National Guard will function as a “force multiplier on the ground and providing additional air assets beyond their current efforts.”
Because Perry has been forced to take this action after repeatedly asking the Obama administration to do it, Texas, rather than the federal government, will be picking up the tab for the deployment, expected to cost approximately $12 million per month. This arrangement also makes Perry the commander in chief of the troops unless Obama is willing to take over the mobilization at the federal level.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made it clear that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, even as he characterized Perry’s efforts as symbolic. “Gov. Perry has referred repeatedly to his desire to make a symbolic statement to the people of Central America that the border is closed,” said Earnest. “And he thinks that the best way to do that is to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. It seems to me that a much more powerful symbol would be the bipartisan passage of legislation that would actually make a historic investment in border security and send an additional 20,000 personnel to the border.”
Again, utter nonsense with a dollop of disingenuousness plopped on top. As the Washington Post reveals, “top officials at the White House and the State Department had been warned repeatedly of the potential for a further explosion in the number of migrant children since the crisis began escalating two years ago, according to former federal officials and others familiar with internal discussions.” And the very same Lackland Air Force base that was opened up as a shelter for illegal youths in May, served in precisely the same capacity more than two years ago. “There were warning signs, operational folks raising red flags to high levels in terms of this being a potential issue,” one former senior federal law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the paper.
As for Perry’s symbolic statement, it is far better than the no-so-subtle message sent by the Obama administration as recently as last week. That’s when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was on the verge of completing a deal with non-profit network BCFS to house as many as 600 illegal alien children between the ages of 12-17 at a resort hotel complex in Texas, replete with three swimming pools, lighted tennis courts, and a Jacuzzi. The deal fell through when the reality of taxpayers footing the bill for the resort—along with a combination of BCFS services and newly-hired workers that could have cost as much as $50 million—became a public relations nightmare.
That would be the same Obama administration that initiated a public relations campaign in June to deter the massive influx of illegals from Central America. Americans might ask themselves which message resonates more: the notion that those getting into the country might not be able to stay here, or the one that lets those who do know there is a possibility they could be ensconced in a luxury hotel?
Yet even that message pales in comparison to another agenda being pursued by the Obama administration. A rule change known as the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule” introduced by the administration in 2013 and set to take effect in October would give the administration vastly increased power over local zoning laws in any municipality that that accepts block grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rule is backed by pro-amnesty advocates who see it as a vehicle allowing the administration to force those municipalities to house illegals.
Thus, it is unsurprising that Gov. Perry’s announcement was met with derision by Democrats who accused him of “militarizing” the border. “Militarizing our border is the wrong response to the arrival of children,” said Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX) in an email. “I remain hopeful that our state can provide a more helpful response than to send armed soldiers to greet children seeking refuge from violence.”
Perry rejected that notion. So did Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-TX). “Our nation is being invaded in what the U.S. Commanding General of SOUTHCOM described as an ‘existential threat,’” he said in a statement. As articulated in Article I, Section 10, of the United States Constitution, the State of Texas has the right to defend herself, as the largest invasion is coming into Texas.”
The Americans must decide which assessment is closer to the truth. Thus, a critical question arises: is the current fiasco occurring on our Southwest border a humanitarian crisis that has engendered an invasion, or an invasion that has engendered a humanitarian crisis? Our national sovereignty may depend on the answer.
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