L.A. Daily News: Gov. Perry’s border stunt

First Published Jul 23 2014 09:10AM      Last Updated Jul 23 2014 09:11 am

Gov. Rick Perry’s plan to put 1,000 Texas National Guard on the U.S.-Mexico border to deal with the mass of Central American child migrants is nothing but a political stunt that will not help resolve the problem.

"I won’t stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor," he said in announcing the effort on Monday.

Assault from an influx of children, many who haven’t gone through puberty or are fleeing violence and poverty? What are these troops going to do at the border — tie shoes and pass out diapers?

As sheriffs and other local officials from Texas pointed out to the Dallas Morning News, these folks are not even authorized to stop anyone. They can’t arrest anyone, but will serve as a "visual deterrent," ABC News reported.

Over the past nine months, the 50,000 mostly Central American children that have streamed across the border are largely surrendering to the Border Patrol. Republicans argue the youth detract Border Patrol agents from their job of protecting the more than 2,000-mile border. So what is the National Guard going to do, make sure everyone stands in line while they are being processed? Or better yet, stand tall and scare away drug dealers?

Shouldn’t there be a better use of these forces trained to assist during natural disasters?

This should not be an issue about beefing up security with the National Guard, it’s about figuring out what to do with these kids, how to get them through a broken immigration system and how the U.S. can help stem the influx.

Sending National Guard troops is not the answer.

What’s more, Texas estimates the price tag for the buildup is around $12 million. And guess who Perry will be billing? The U.S. government or, more to the point, American taxpayers. Thanks, but no thanks.

Both California Gov. Jerry Brown and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said they see no need to send their uniformed National Guard to deal with the influx of kids and families because they correctly understand there is no threat from kids and families who are largely turning themselves in to the Border Patrol.





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