Meanwhile, about this border situation…

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Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. 

On June 2nd Barack Obama issued a memorandum announcing the creation of an interagency task force in response to what he called “an urgent humanitarian situation” on America’s southern border–a sudden influx in unaccompanied alien children. Law enforcement officials have apprehended almost 52,000 such children since October of last year. Some 38,000 of them, or about two-thirds, have entered the country in the Rio Grande Valley.

A few days later, the story got a boost when Breitbart Texas published a batch of leaked photos showing hundreds of people, most of them children, who are being held in federal facilities while awaiting legal proceedings—or as Breitbart’s Brandon Darby put it, reasonably enough, a batch of leaked photos showing hundreds of children “warehoused in crowded U.S. cells.” The images hit a nerve, and over the past two weeks the unaccompanied alien children have gained more attention as state and federal officials have been arguing over the causes of the crisis and the appropriate response.

The influx is, by any standard, a complex and rapidly evolving situation. It’s also an emotionally charged and politically contentious one. Thousands of extremely vulnerable children are involved. But so too are many more controversial people: a president whose policies may have spurred this crisis; the saber-rattling Republicans who have been fulminating about our porous border for years; the transnational drug-trafficking organizations that are helping these immigrants cross the border, and are surely aware of the disruption that the influx has caused; the constellation of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working in the Valley; and, of course, the parents of the children arriving recently, who are surely vulnerable in their own ways but who have either endangered the children in question—or accompanied them as regular, adult aliens.

All of that adds up to a pretty bewildering picture. But after spending the weekend reporting in the Valley, I came away with several conclusions. First of all, the influx of unaccompanied alien children makes a lot more sense if you think about it as part of a surge in illegal immigration from Central America. That surge began a couple of years ago and is due (at least in part) to widespread reports in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador that the United States is not going to enforce immigration law against minors—that’s why so many of the immigrants in question are children. The more lurid and ominous reports about the migrants themselves are exaggerated. The influx is real, though, and markedly different from the illegal immigration that the United States has experienced in recent decades.

First, some context: most of the time, when Americans think about large-scale illegal immigration, we’re thinking about illegal immigration from Mexico. That may be a little simplistic, because only about half of unauthorized immigrants living here are actually from Mexico, but Mexico is the single biggest source of unauthorized immigrants in the United States, and it has certainly been the most visible one. In 1990, according to the Pew Research Center report linked above, the total number of unauthorized aliens in the United States was fewer than 3.5 million. In 2007, the unauthorized population peaked at 12.2 million. Some of the growth came from people who had entered the country legally, and became unauthorized immigrants over time, by overstaying their visas. Those who illegally crossed the border, however, were predominantly Mexican. In 2000 alone, for example, Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 1.6 million Mexicans, and only 40,000 people from all other countries.

Recently, things have changed. Around 2007, illegal immigration from Mexico, which is usually motivated by economic reasons, slowed to a trickle; as the Great Recession descended on the United States, many unauthorized Mexicans actually went home. And then, two or three years ago, illegal immigration from other countries started to pick up. In fiscal year 2012, according to Border Patrol statistics (PDF), about 95,000 migrants from countries other than Mexico—OTMs, for short—were apprehended along the southern border. By fiscal year 2013, the number of OTMs apprehended jumped to about 149,000. This year’s figure is already larger, even though the fiscal year is only half over. Since October, almost 182,000 OTMs have been apprehended along the US-Mexico border.

About three-quarters of those apprehensions have taken place in the Rio Grande Sector. That is, as mentioned, where most of the unaccompanied children have appeared. Overall, about 12,000 of the 52,000 unaccompanied children in question are Mexican. Most of them, though, are from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. In other words, the influx of unaccompanied children is part of a broader spike in illegal immigration from those three countries. Significantly, many of the other OTMs apprehended have been traveling in family groups that include children. From a legal perspective, the unaccompanied children are in a different category than the accompanied ones.  If you’re trying to understand the situation, though, it helps to understand that there are also many children migrating with their parents.

So what’s going on? When Obama issued his memorandum, earlier this month, White House officials pointed to violence and poverty in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador as the cause of the crisis. That makes sense—the countries in question are among the most dangerous in the world—but it can’t be the entire explanation. Conditions have been grim for a long time, and illegal immigration from those countries only started soaring in the past two years or so.

This crisis is partly the result of American politics and policy. In June 2012, Obama announced that his administration would decline to enforce immigration law against certain unauthorized immigrants who had been brought to the country as children, and lived in the United States more or less continuously since then. The policy was probably well-intentioned, and advocates cheered it as an effort to advance the goals of the DREAM Act, which was then languishing in a recalcitrant Congress. In looking through Guatemalan and Honduran news reports about the program, though, you’ll notice that they rarely mention the fine print about which minors, exactly, are eligible. It’s not that hard to imagine how people could get the impression that the United States had decided not to deport children, or why parents in these desperately poor and crime-riddled countries would be motivated to act in response.

And based on my reporting, I’d find it extremely hard to say that such an impression hasn’t been a crucial factor in the influx. Every person I talked to said something that corroborated it. A woman who owns a bar on the banks of the river said that for the past three weeks or so, immigrants have been turning up routinely and asking if she would call the Border Patrol for them. An agent, in turn, said that every child he’s talked to has memorized at least one American phone number, meaning that someone in the United States is expecting their arrival. “The word is spreading that women and children are not being deported,” said Ofelia de los Santos, one of the volunteers at a temporary shelter at the Sacred Heart in downtown McAllen.

“What would you do?” she continued—meaning, if you were a parent in Guatemala or Honduras or El Salvador and you heard you had a chance to bring your child to the United States. “What would you do?” she asked again. Like many people I met, de los Santos expressed empathy for what the immigrants had done, and why. Her own father, she said, had immigrated illegally in 1945, when World War II created a demand for Mexican labor in the United States: “How can I now turn against these immigrants, who are doing what my dad did?”

Also clear, during my time in the Valley, was that the immigrants themselves are not particularly scary or threatening. They are not, for example, disease-infested. Tony Lopez, who was volunteering as a medic, said that half of the health problems he’s encountered thus far could be cured with Pedialyte. Other than dehydration, he added, the most common ailment among the migrants is seasonal allergies, which he was suffering from himself at the moment. Nor do they seem to be criminal. Many have reportedly hired smugglers to help them get across, and many Mexican smugglers work for that country’s powerful drug-trafficking organizations. But the relationship between the immigrants and the cartels seems to begin and end with that transaction. One local explained that in her experience, people who cross the border on cartel business usually dart through the brush on the banks of the river. They certainly don’t stroll up in broad daylight and ask if someone can call the authorities.

What’s happening in the Rio Grande Valley can fairly be described as a humanitarian crisis. It’s also, simultaneously, a situation with serious implications for America’s border security. As sympathetic as these immigrants are, their relatively sudden arrival in large numbers clearly requires a lot of attention from law enforcement–attention that used to be applied to other tasks. A Border Patrol agent who stopped to chat as I was sitting by the river made that clear. “What’s more important—being nice to these people, or protecting the American public?” he asked. The immigrants themselves don’t seem to be drug lords or human traffickers, he continued, but such criminals exist, and are surely aware that local law enforcement suddenly has its hands full.

Democrats have reacted to the humanitarian dimension of the story; Republicans are more focused on the security side. Both aspects of the situation should be addressed. The effort to do so would benefit from thoughtfulness, calm, and cooperation—between the parties, and between the state and federal government. Such qualities have been in short supply during recent rounds of debate about illegal immigration, though, and after several days of reporting, I found that to be an ominous aspect of the situation in itself. Compared to the situation unfolding in the Valley this summer, illegal immigration from Mexico looks more and more straightforward: an economic phenomenon, rising and falling in response to labor market conditions, without nearly so many children caught in the middle.  

(AP Photos | Eric Gay)

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  • WUSRPH

    I thought I understood what was going on in the RGV and saw the “surge” as just being a continuation of a growing trend of increasing numbers of unaccompanied children. I still think I am basically correct, but a long-time friend now the editor of the McAllen Monitor has given me something new to think about. As he explains it:

    “I grew up on the border and I am familiar with border culture. What is happening right now in the Rio Grande Valley is something that I have never witnessed before. The notion that undocumented immigrants are running toward border patrol agents instead of away from them is mind-boggling from my perspective. I agree that much of what is being reported by the New York Times or Washington Post are things we reported on in McAllen months or even years ago. But something is happening here; something that I have never witnessed.”

    To that extent I stand corrected.

    If he is correct–and I am certain he is—this is a different situation which may be much harder to deal with since it appears that thousands of parents and children in Central America have somehow become convinced that the will receive sanctuary if the can only reach the U.S. What gave them this belief is hard to pin down. Some will attribute it to a misinterpretation of the Obama Administration’s policy of not deporting children who were brought to the U.S. at any early age and have now grown to adulthood in this country for at least the present time. (I assume that when the Administration made that decision it hoped that the Congress would act on the question of how to handle such residents so there would be no need to deport them; but, obviously that has not happened nor does it appear likely to happen anytime in the next couple of years.)

    Somehow we have got to get the word out in Latin America that there is no sanctuary here for those who arrived after the President’s announcement. Unfortunately, the only way to insure that is successfully accomplished may be to send these thousands of children back home ASAP. According to media accounts we have already sent as many as 8,000 children back to Honduras in the past year, but that apparently has not been enough to halt the flow of others.

    There is a problem in sending these children back quickly since federal law requires a hearing be granted any person who claims grounds for asylum–and all these kids are doing just that. It has taken as long as a year in the past for a hearing. The Administration is trying to speed up that process by sending more hearing judges to the border, but it may have to take the extra step of asking the Congress to suspend the hearing requirement. Whether the GOP dominated House would do that is unknown. It might just want to let Obama “fry in his own grease” and not act, but one would hope that it will accept the need for action and actually do something on immigration—which it has been unwilling to do in the past.

    A comment on the fact that they are coming from Central America rather than Mexico. A friend of mine who is a retired border patrol agent said a couple of years ago that he expected the next big wave to be from further South. Mexico, he suggested, have already lost most of those who wanted to come to the U.S. but the flow from south of Mexico was only beginning to be noticeable. He said that, after teaching all the agents to speak Spanish, the agency would now have to retrain them to speak Brazilian Portuguese since there was a growing number coming from there. He even joked that it probably would not be too much longer before immigration started picking up people from Tierra del Fuego.

    • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

      get informed its Obama’s policies causing this mess.

      “Meanwhile, another major Guatemalan newspaper, El Periódico, reports that among the initial 1,000 Central American minors housed at Lackland Air Force base in Texas, two thirds-are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, while 12% are Mexican. About 80% of the minors housed at the base are male, and 83% are over age 14.”

      • Blue Dogs

        Amnesty is amnesty. It needs to STOP.

        • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

          Their point is it is amnesty and not kids as the media is “reporting.”

          • WUSRPH

            It is the politicians, not immigration, that are trying to give the impression that it is all little bitty kids….Very young kids could not make the journey without a lot more support than the coyote people smugglers provide…Most are likely to be 10-12 and older simply because they are of an age able to travel and able to understand their instructions of what to do when they get here.

          • Erica Grieder

            I had the same question about the age distribution of the children involved. There are certainly a lot of very young children, toddler and infants, arriving with adults, and a lot of the unaccompanied children are teenagers who are migrating more or less of their own volition, but several sources said that some of the unaccompanied minors are actually young children, like four- and five-year olds. Unfortunately CBP hasn’t been breaking down the apprehension figures by age bracket (or, at least, they’re not putting out those numbers).

      • WUSRPH

        One of the laws passed by the Bush administration could be behind the rise in migrant children. Marc Rosenblum from the Migration Policy Institute argued that the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act passed in 2008 could encourage children to cross the border because it guarantees certain protections to unaccompanied children who are not from Mexico or Canada. http://www.latinpost.com/articles/14892/20140615/script-type-text-javascript-location-replace-pages-account-login-url-2fpages-2fpublish-2fpublish-2fget-keywords-ajax-php-script.htm

        • buyaclue

          We need to look forward, not backward. :-)

          • WUSRPH

            Agreed..but there has been too much of this “Obama is to blame” crap. The 2008 law was probably one of the anti-trafficking of children and women “reform” passed with the best intentions…but you know what the road to hell is paved with.

        • John Johnson

          Do you really care who caused what at this point? Why isn’t the focus on defining the problem and coming up with a solution. We are way past who’s faulit it is. I think we can all agree that laws which have been on the books for a long, long time have not been enforced for decades now with both parties in and out of the White House.
          But for the record, Obama is the worst President in my lifetime. He is an outright liar. George Bush was simply overwhelmed, I believe, by the people whispering in his ear. He got bad advice and he followed bad advice. He made mistakes. Obama’s backgound is questionable, his moves are calculated, his promises empty ones, and his goals damaging. He is a cancer.

          • buyaclue

            Well then thank god for Obamacare. Even cancer as a pre-existing condition is covered.

          • WUSRPH

            If you want to encourage people to work together, etc. to define and solve the problem, you have to leave off the second paragraph of your statement which verges on being a diatribe.

          • John Johnson

            I will as soon as you start looking forward, quit blaming past administrations for Obama’s sorry record, and quit being an apologist for him.

          • scottindallas

            YES IDIOT, this crisis is caused by our CIA coups in Latin America. Wonder why Latin America is a basket case, study your deep American History. Look up Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” he recounts a history that we simply were not taught nor told

          • John Johnson

            Well, dickbird….welcome to the discussion. It appears that you and others here want to stand bend over with your head between your legs looking straight backwards. That’s really smart. That will solve our current problems, huh? I will not dispute all the goofy things past adminstrations have done all over the world that play a role in the problems facing us today. I spend lots of time in Central America back right after Ortega turned over Nicaragua to Violeta Chamoro. I know that we proped up a bunch of bad guys and miltary dictators who milked us blind and kept their boots planted on the necks of the poor…but tell me, wiseman, what does this have to do with getting the mess resolved today?

      • buyaclue

        Wow, who’d a thunk it. jjb was right, voter fraud is a problem.
        http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=325853
        He was a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker and state Sen. Alberta Darling, both Republicans, and allegedly cast five ballots in the June 2012 election in which Walker survived a recall challenge.

        • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

          You’re citing a lefty blog from Wisconsin, the birthplace of progressivism? Who’d thunk?

          • Unwound

            Way less absurd than citing Breitbart like I’ve seen you do before.

          • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

            yeah yeah there is no voter fraud. Deal with it bub we ain’t quitting.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Also a right-wing rag.

          • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books
          • WUSRPH

            And of course there was that reason voter fraud case–complete with convictions–in the heartland of Texas Republicanism–The Woodlands…and, guess what, not a single ethnic was involved.

          • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

            Doesn’t matter who is involved, there is voter fraud no matter how much dems say there ain’t none.

          • WUSRPH

            I have not heard any Dems say there isn’t some voter fraud. What they have said is that what little there is is not the kind that Voter ID will resolve. The biggest area of fraud, again only a small amount, is in absentee by mail voting but this is not covered by Voter ID. The seond area, if there is any fraud, would be in the counting, but again this is not affected by voter ID. I base my comments on four years of day-by-day working with Texas voter laws including special emphasis on voter registration and election day events.

          • buyaclue

            jjb doesn’t acknowledge facts, he’s a republican.

          • WUSRPH

            He can’t afford to acknowledge facts when his mind (sic) is already made up.

          • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books
          • buyaclue

            So she was charged and convicted of voter fraud charges? You whine about a store in a “lefty blog” and then post a rant from the blaze??? I have to agree with a previous commentor, you must be a spambot. No actual human can be as stupid and unaware as you.

          • Indiana Pearl

            The Blaze is a right-wing rag. Try again.

          • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

            actually that’s a lie…

          • MSM

            But even when they acknowledge voter fraud they say, “Welp, can’t be helped. Best to let it go.” They never make a suggestion of their own on how to stop it. Voter fraud is a very serious problem because it deeply disfranchises the voting public.

            I think Mississippi recently had some clear voter fraud going on. Good Ole’ missi. Alabama has some deeply-entrenched voter fraud. A florida media station did an investigation of their own and found 76 names on the voter roll of a district and all of them belonging to non-citizens who have all voted over the last decade.

            One of New York’s administrations did a study in the 2012 election to determine how easy voter fraud was. They used names of people who could not vote (either moving districts, deceased, ect.) and found over 90 % of the time they were allowed to vote. To make sure they did not influence the outcome they wrote fake write-in name on the ballot.

            It’s one thing to lose because the other politician had a better ground game or a larger coalition. But it’s quite another to feel like the other side one because they cheated.

            That kind of victory is harder to accept. (looking at Thad Cochran and his unique tactics).

          • MSM

            Here is the link to the study by New York’s Department of Investigation involving voter fraud and how easy it was to commit…

            http://www.nyc.gov/html/doi/downloads/pdf/2013/dec%2013/BOE%20Unit%20Report12-30-2013.pdf

            Some from the investigation:

            A 26 year-old female investigator cast a write-in vote for “John Test” at a Manhattan poll site during the general election as a female who moved outside New York City and was 76 years old as of the date of the general election.

            • A 43 year-old male investigator cast a write-in vote for “John Test” at a Bronx poll site during the general election as a 48 year-old male who moved outside of New York City to Florida in or around April 2011. After the poll inspectors located the name of the nonresident, the investigator informed the inspectors that he had recently moved to Florida. In response, one of the poll inspectors replied that so long as the name was in the registration book, the investigator was permitted to vote in the election.

          • MSM

            And here is an updated article on that Florida’s stations investigation into voter fraud and how several non-citizens did indeed vote…

            http://www.nbc-2.com/story/18245049/illegal-voting-investigation-grows-dramatically

          • scottindallas

            Its easy, but cheating to get one vote isn’t worth it. Next, you’ve got to get and coordinate many to vote the same way

          • scottindallas

            its not done person by person at the polls in a coordinated manner. There are far easier and more effective ways to rig the polls than having someone sit in line to cast ONE vote. AND, if ONE person is wrongly denied the vote, you’ve transgressed again. There aren’t 100 false votes in any national election, but clearly more than 100 would be turned away from the polls. You simply don’t count each vote the same. Some are more equal, eh Pig?

          • buyaclue

            So does that mean he wasn’t charged?? Provide proof please.

        • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books
          • buyaclue

            Way to avoid the question . typical wingnut

          • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

            typical leftie…..
            My contention is there is voter fraud. Lefties say that isn’t so then post a link saying republicans do it too.

        • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

          wow 28 states 7 million duplicate voter registrations. What % is democrat? 80, 90, 100? http://watchdog.org/156197/multiple-voters-crosscheck/

          • buyaclue

            Dems like Ann Coulter???

      • scottindallas

        but, you don’t have a clue which ones. We overthrew the Honduran gov’t a year or so ago. Your McAllen buddy didn’t know that either. These people are refugees from our drug running, and our CIA–forgive me, I repeat myself

  • nickthap

    I think most of the blame lies with the elites in those countries who are only too willing to spread lies about our immigration policies so people will leave. What they fail to understand is people leaving is not a good thing for their countries. Of course, a lack of long-term thinking is probably what got them to this point anyway.

    • Unwound

      Lack of long term thinking in government is not isolated to third world Central American nations…

      • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

        neither is looting…

    • scottindallas

      we overthrew their gov’t in Honduras about a year ago. When we INSTALL their leaders, you can’t have that beef. Further, when we foment civil wars, we don’t really get to act shocked about the refugees. I’m sorry this isn’t well reported, but your ignorance (and many, this REALLY isn’t well reported) is not a foundation for understanding

  • Jon

    We kind of saw this 34 years ago, with the Mariel boat lift that inundated Florida with Cuban refugees. The difference here is a higher percentage of children and a lower percentage of criminals and the criminally insane are part of the wave, since Castro took advantage of the exodus to empty his prisons and let the U.S. deal with the problems.

    Hopefully, now that you’re starting to see border Democrats like Cuellar speaking out and demanding the federal government do something, the idea that this is a problem won’t simply be tossed off back in Washington as a bunch of angry Know-Northings ranting about immigration.

    • scottindallas

      this isn’t a bad hollywood movie. This is the result of our fomenting civil wars and toppling gov’ts in central America.

  • WUSRPH

    It was 0 for 2 for Atty. Gen. Abbott Monday. First the SCOTUS ruled against him on his anti-pollution control lawsuit against the EPA. Next, the special judge REFUSED TO ORDER JUDGE DIETZ to recuse himself from the school funding trial. Abbott had tried to derail the case claiming improper contacts between the judge and the successful school districts who had sued the state. The special judge found that Abbott’s office knew about those kinds of contacts from the very beginning and never objected. Abbott again proves that he knows how to file law suits….He just doesn’t know how to win them.

  • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

    So the surge is due to President Obama’s policies? How racist of you Erica.

  • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

    Here’s some facts for the poorly informed at this site:

    “Meanwhile, another major Guatemalan newspaper, El Periódico, reports that among the initial 1,000 Central American minors housed at Lackland Air Force base in Texas, two thirds-are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, while 12% are Mexican. About 80% of the minors housed at the base are male, and 83% are over age 14.”

    http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/craig-bannister/central-american-media-promote-illegal-child-immigrant-tsunami-give-tips

    • Fantasy Maker

      What is your point? They are ALL ILLEGAL, it doesn’t matter what country they originated from.

      • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

        How could you miss the point?!? “About 80% of the minors housed at the base are male, and 83% are over age 14.” Media is reporting its all babies and kids under 4.

  • Blue Dogs

    Erica, I’m calling for massive deportation of these illegal aliens NOW. We also need to build a giant huge wall on both the Southern and Northern borders to prevent terrorist attacks.

    • Unwound

      I’m sure future Governor Abbott will take appreciate your call with the utmost seriousness it deserves.

    • WUSRPH

      What do we do on the Eastern, Western and Southern borders? Build great dikes in the sea? How high are the walls going to have to be to stop planes from coming over them? Let’s be serious about what is possible before we start dreaming about “Fortress America”.

      You can get a good picture of what is involved in building WALLS and what has been done to date at the Border Patrol’s site:
      http://www.usborderpatrol.com/….

      If you really want to know both what has been done and what will be required, this is the place to find that information.

      It includes a section-by-section physical description of the entire border from where the wall actually starts (on a California beach on the Pacific Ocean) to south of Brownsville. Looking at only a few sections of this presentation should convince anyone who is willing to logically consider the question that a full border barrier is just not feasible, either practically or financially.

      P.S. The law authorizing the wall called for only 700 miles although the border is more than 1,900 in recognition that it is just not feasible to build anything along the entire Texas-Mexico border.

      P.S.P.S. I assume you are being sarcastic.

      • C.d. Gibson

        why would we need walls on the oceans? If you would take the initiative to read about the section of fence that WAS erected in the San Diego sector, you would see that it has been very successful. Because of YOUR party, the funds for the rest of the fence were deleted.

        • WUSRPH

          To keep out those terrorists Blue Dogs is so afraid of (see above post). After all, they might come in boats….like the thousands of Haitians to the US and the hundreds of thousands of Asians and Africans to Europe. (I was being facetious making the point that WALLS won’t necessarily keep out anyone and that there are other ways to get here than by land.) Which political party by the way? The budget has to be approved by the Congress and half is controlled by the GOP. Moreover, no one ever talked about a total fence. The law creating it only called for 700 miles altho the border Is over 1,950. The rest was to be left unfenced as it was just not feasible but covered with sensors, etc.

          You can get a good picture of what is involved in building WALLS and what has been done to date at the Border Patrol’s site:
          http://www.usborderpatrol.com/….

    • buyaclue

      Don’t you ever get tired of wetting yourself in fear? First it was gays, now its childern. God, it must suck to be you.

  • John Johnson

    Another good job of covering all aspects of the situation. Now tell us if the $60+M we are spending on having DPS officers give directions to kids looking for the way to showers, a bed, food, a phone and plane/bus fare is money well spent. I think it is just another knee jerk reaction that is a total waste.

    • WUSRPH

      As much as I agree with you about this not being a real solution to the problem, there are some good things sending more DPS to the border region can accomplish just by simply putting “more boots on the ground”……Most people don’t realize how under policed some of the border counties and first-and-second-tier-in-from-the-border counties are. For example, from what I have been told by local law officials, in Jim Hogg County (Hebbronville) that other than the jailer there is exactly ONE COUNTY SHERIFF’s DEPUTY on patrol duty overnight and this is a county which is on the direct route for aliens going inland. That single deputy may be backed up by one of the four constables when needed, but he is it in terms of LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT. The problem is that the county is small in population (but not in geographical size) and low in wealth and that there are NO LOCAL CITY POLICE. (There is no incorporated city in the county and that includes Hebbronville which is unincorporated.) There are DPS officers patrolling the area, plus some border patrol and Texas P&W Game Wardens, but there is just not an adequate police presence in the county. Adding a couple of DPS officers with this new program will, as such, be a major help. It is too bad that they will only be “a temporary surge”…..when a long-term solution is really necessary.

      • John Johnson

        I get tired of the fuzzy math. 200 more DPS officers??? Are they hiring more, or moving 200 to the border? If $60M is being allotted, that is $300,000 for every one of the 200 DPS officers. ???????

        I know that you can get 50,000 people flown back to their homeland for less than $25M, so what the hell is going on?

        We going to be leasing Perry’s friends barns to house some of them in? Pay his San Antonio friend to make sure they have enough milk to drink?

        Is the problem defined? What is the desired outcome? How best do we reach this outcome in the most expedient and lest expensive manner? Is deploying 200 troopers at $300K per going to help us reach this end?

        • WUSRPH

          They are temporarily transferring 200 plus DPS troopers, their cars and support from their existing posts to along the border. The estimated cost is $1.3 million per week. That comes to $6,500 per trooper per week and includes food and housing, overtime pay and what ever else is required. (The $60 million is the cost for the rest of this calendar year.) Purpose: Show the voters that they are doing something. Desired outcome: Show the voters that they are doing something. Likely outcome: a few hundred more illegal aliens detained and local law given a little help. Long term outcome: Nothing permanent.

          • John Johnson

            That’s a lot of words when you could just have said, “It’s a total waste of taxpayer money.” :-)

          • Beerman

            The DPS under this plan will be replace shortly by “contract” companies controlled by Perry’s cronies. This fiasco is just another trick pony to drain more money from state coffers before Perry leaves office.

          • WUSRPH

            P.S. The $6,500 per trooper per week may also cover the overtime that has to be paid to the troopers left behind who will have to cover the holes in the patrol schedule, etc. created by the transfers. More verbiage….but it gets complicated.

          • John Johnson

            Stop it! Just say that it is a waste of taxpayer money and will do absolutely nothing to resolve the issues at hand.

  • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

    Food for thought every one of the women with an infant is eligible for tax payer funded benefits. Under federal policy you do not have to be a citizen to collect benefits only a resident of Texas. Under federal law illegal immigrants are not entitled to collect tax payer funded benefits.
    If you oppose President Obama’s policies you are a racist. So choose carefully which you support federal policy or federal law.

    • Fantasy Maker

      John, Breaking the laws of this country have NOTHING to do with the color of your skin. What a pathetic post.

      • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

        no where in my post does it mention color of skin. Stop being a racist.

        • Fantasy Maker

          “If you oppose President Obama’s policies you are a racist.”
          Taken DIRECTLY from your post

          • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

            a democrat talking point not my words

    • scottindallas

      That was a law passed by the First President Bush.

  • joethepleb

    Well balanced article. GOP has called for border security but reduced the budget by millions over the last couple of sessions.

  • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

    From Protect Texas on FB “HHS is also asking for 42,000 LARGE sized underwear for men. Why do they need “large sized”? Aren’t they telling us that only “children” are flooding the border?
    Why can’t the media just report why do they feel compelled to carry the Obama administration’s water?

    • WUSRPH

      No one has ever said that ONLY children are being intercepted. Some are families with children. Some are children alone. Some or the good ole regular illegal aliens who continue to come in spite of and in the middle of this increased numbers of children. What is significant now is the increased number of children, accompanied and unaccompanied, but particularly the unaccompanied. Even more unusual, as my friend in the RGV pointed out, is the fact that we have these people willingly surrendering themselves to ICE instead of running from its agents. That is because something—whether it was the Bush law of 2008 or Obama’s policy toward young adults who grew up here, or both—has made them think that children will be given asylum here. That’s what ICE is battling.

    • Beerman

      JBB, what’s the story on the staff of Ted Cruz shielding the Senator from having his picture taken with you at a recent political outing? I thought that you were his big buddy? Word is that you are “overboard” with the GOP in your home area?

      Hard for me to believe….I thought that you were the big man down in Missouri City?

      • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

        Beerman tell us about the little boy you molested.

        • Beerman

          Sad and profoundly offensive response to a legitimate question.

          • http://www.fortbendconservative.org/ John Bernard Books

            You want to deal in rumors and smears….but you don’t like it? Now that’s just cowardly, how fitting.

  • Fantasy Maker

    Umm, the Obama Administration is helping to facilitate ILLEGAL Immigration. We have a legal immigration policy as does EVERY other sovereign country in the world. You do NOT get to be rewarded by breaking the law and sneaking in the back door.

  • pamela

    This piece makes it sounds like the press in the Northern Triangle misinformed its population and that is what caused this situation. I did some searching and found this highly nuanced account from La Prensa Grafica in July 2012, for those who read Spanish: “Obama anunció en junio que emitió una orden ejecutiva para que muchos inmigrantes, que fueron traídos a Estados Unidos cuando eran niños y no tienen autorización para estar en el país, no enfrenten leyes de inmigración tan estrictas.Bajo el cambio en las políticas, los inmigrantes no autorizados serían candidatos a evitar ser deportados si pueden demostrar que tienen 30 años o menos, han estado en Estados Unidos al menos cinco años, llegaron antes de cumplir 16 años, concluyeron sus estudios en una secundaria estadounidense o obtuvieron un certificado de aprobación del examen GED (siglas en inglés de Desarrollo Educativo General) o se encuentran actualmente en la escuela y no tienen antecedentes penales.” http://www.laprensagrafica.com/noticias/noticias/2715-napolitano-defiende-la-politica-de-obama-sobre-inmigracion

  • TopTaciturn

    The fear, hunger, anxiety & uncertainty of living safely and healthy grips the whole world. Endemic to peoples in the Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mexico, Central America, Cameroon, Palestine, Iran, Iraq? Think again. This whole mess is the baby of the world’s politicasters’ inner desires to control, get & stay wealthy while the masses jump border fences, swim rivers, cross deserts and land at Port Hueneme Naval base. And all for what? Freebies? Hand outs? If your mentality equals Archie Bunker’s, then yes, they MUST be a boatload of “Takers” aiming to take what they can get, Right? Think again..

  • scottindallas

    The author failed to note or recognize our overthrow of the Honduran gov’t about a year ago. Look it up, Hillary, the CIA and our usual cretins did what they’ve been doing since Smedley Butler was off making Central America safe for American fruit cartels. To ignore the WAR REFUGEE CRISIS coming from Honduras shows that the author has much more research to do. Of course we don’t publicize our coups widely in this country, but some of us follow that sort of thing, sadly, few of us are in the media