The ongoing surge of Central American immigration into Texas was the focus of a field hearing Thursday of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R - Austin) invited Governor Rick Perry to testify at the hearing in the Rio Grande Valley.
The governor laid out a four-point plan for handling the situation, including increasing National Guard operations, screening immigrants for medical conditions and federal reimbursement of the money Texas has spent on border security.
“Secure this border, Mr. President. Invest sufficient resources to put an adequate number of Border Patrol agents on the ground permanently and utilize existing technology, including drones and other assets that we know – we know how to do this,” Perry said.
Governor Perry suggested that drug cartels are using the tens of thousands of children coming across the border to divert the attention of law enforcement.
“They’re being used, they’re being used by very vile individuals to detract from the role of our Border Patrol and other law enforcement... When your enemy changes tactics, you’re going to be force to change your tactics, too, or you’re going to be defeated.”
In addition to the $1.3 million a week recently allocated to increase state and local law enforcement efforts along the border, Governor Perry says the state has spent $500 million on border security since 2005.