Governor Perry testifies that U.S.-Mexico border is not secure
POSTED: Friday, July 4, 2014 - 11:10am
UPDATED: Friday, July 4, 2014 - 11:22am
MCALLEN, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — Governor Rick Perry is calling for more boots on the ground.
In a congressional field hearing with members of the House Homeland Security Committee, the Texas governor proclaimed that the issue of national security amid the immigration crisis can not be overlooked.
Perry argues that the need for additional Border Patrol agents in South Texas is critical.
"The border between the U.S. and Mexico is less secure today than any time in the recent past," Perry said. "We know that the drug cartels and these trans-national gangs are already seeking to take advantage of the situation."
Perry states that the drug cartels are using the surge of unaccompanied immigrant children to distract Border Patrol and law enforcement agents from their regular jobs.
"This is a tactical issue that the drug cartels, from my perspective, are engaged in. Yes, it is a humanitarian crisis that is growing every day, but it is being driven by a national security penetration."
Congressman Filemon Vela says that the issues of immigration reform and border security should be handled as separate entities.
"When we talk about immigration reform, we're talking about the legalization process for the people that are already here," Vela explained. "When we're talking about border security we're talking about what are we gonna do in the future to make sure that undocumented people do not come over. "
Governor Perry stresses that an immediate action to take is delivering the message that undocumented immigrants will not be allowed to stay.
"If we do not send the message today, clearly send the message, then this is only gonna get worse. and a humanitarian crisis will turn into a monumental tragedy."
After the governor's testimony, local law enforcement members of Hidalgo County attested to their experiences addressing the surge of immigrants in the Valley.