Tag Archives: Texas border

Lt. Gov. Patrick: Keep troops on the border

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants to keep state National Guard troops on the state’s southern border.

Here’s the question: Is the state’s No. 2 elected official getting ahead of its No. 1 official, the governor, who’s actually in command of the Texas National Guard?


Former Gov. Rick Perry dispatched the National Guard to the border a year ago in a move seen by many as little more than a grandstanding act designed to make himself look tough in the face of that mass migration of children into Texas, who were fleeing political and economic repression in Central America.

You’ll recall, perhaps, that Gov. Perry sent the troops there with no clear mission — or even any authority — to make arrests.


There’s a new regime at the top in Austin, with Perry now out office and Abbott occupying the governor’s seat, and with Patrick having defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP primary this past spring.

It’s interesting to me that, according to the Dallas Morning News, House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has taken a cautious approach to Patrick’s call for keeping the troops on patrol along the border. “I appreciate Gov. Patrick’s remarks,” Straus said. “But Gov. Abbott is the commander in chief and he will decide whether to extend the National Guard’s deployment.” The Morning News reports that Abbott had no comment on Patrick’s statements.

All of this has me curious as well. Is the lieutenant governor’s stay-tough approach to border enforcement a symbolic shot across Abbott’s bow to ensure that the Big Man — Abbott — is equally stern in his approach to border enforcement?

Some folks seem to believe Patrick has his eyes set on another political prize in 2018, the one currently possessed by Greg Abbott.

I’m just wondering.


Border not secure? Tell the detainees

It’s difficult to imagine the terror that young people face when they’re shipped from their homes and they find themselves essentially trapped in a country that cannot accept them.

Then they learn that many people in this strange country have turned on them, believing that they are somehow responsible for the plight in which they find themselves.

Welcome to the United States of America, young Central American refugees.

I’ve become disheartened by this story as it has unfolded. The young people, thousands of them children barely past toddlerhood, have been allowed passage through Mexico and into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Reports are that they’re fleeing repression, virtual enslavement and corruption in their home countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

They come here unaccompanied, sent here by parents or transported by those notorious “coyotes,” who deal in human trafficking.

The president of the United States is asking Congress for some extra emergency money to help repatriate these young people – humanely, of course. He’s asking for money to help pay for more border security. Some in Congress don’t want to spend the money – even though they demand the president does something, anything, to help stem the flood of refugees.

Of all the arguments I’ve heard from Barack Obama’s critics, however, perhaps the most maddening in this notion that our borders are “porous,” that federal agents aren’t enforcing immigration laws, that the country has become a “magnet” for those who think it’s OK just to enter the United States and they’ll be given a safe place to live with no strings attached.

What on Earth are these critics thinking?

The borders cannot be sealed off. Still, we continue to capture illegal immigrants every single day. We’re deporting them in record numbers. The tens of thousands of young people being held by federal immigration authorities were captured, for crying out loud, by officers actually enforcing U.S. immigration laws.

I want this crisis to end as much as the next guy. I also want us to stop demonizing the children who are being used as pawns in this nasty struggle – and I want the critics to stop tossing out that demagogic canard that the United States is not enforcing its immigration laws.

Those helpless children would beg to differ.

More than a handshake, please, Mr. President

This is making my head hurt, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry is, umm, correct in asking for more than an airport tarmac handshake with Barack Obama when the president arrives in Austin this week.


Perry wants to meet privately with Obama to discuss the border crisis, created by the influx of thousands of illegal immigrants — from Central America — into Texas. The immigrants are young people fleeing repression; they have become commodities of human traffickers and drug lords. It’s a disgraceful development.

I must agree wholeheartedly with the governor on his request for a substantive meeting with the president.

The president reportedly has no plans to visit the border region while he’s in Texas to raise money for Democratic candidates. He should change his mind on that one, too.

As for meeting with Perry, Obama would have to set aside the idiotic statements from the governor, who said over the weekend he believes the White House may have “wanted” the crisis to erupt on the border. To what end is anyone’s guess. Perry hasn’t yet described what possible motive the president and/or the White House would have in fomenting this crisis.

The two men are adults. They’re seasoned pols. They know how to talk “frankly” with each other. I would hope the president could find time to meet with the governor of a significant state that is under siege at the moment by illegal immigrants.

Time to pony up on border emergency

Republicans in Congress have been griping about Barack Obama’s so-called imperial presidency.

They want the president to consult more with them before acting.

OK, then. The president — and Congress — have a serious border emergency on their hands right here in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. It involves the mass migration of thousands of children and adults from Central America.

To help fight the problem believed to part of an international human trafficking ring, the president has asked Congress for more than $2 billion in emergency money to beef up detention facilities along the border and to bolster border security.


U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has asked the president to do more. So has Texas Gov. Rick Perry, another Republican.

The question of the day: Will GOP lawmakers consent to the request or will they continue to dig in their heels, contending that the United States can’t afford the money and, thus, keep sniping away at the administration for its “failure” to protect the border against illegal immigration?

CNN.com reports it this way: “A White House official told CNN the money will go to securing appropriate space for the detention of children but also stemming the tide of immigrants. The government hopes to increase its ability to investigate and dismantle smuggling organizations as well as quickly return children and adults to their home countries if they do not qualify for asylum.”

For his part, Obama is sending stern messages to governments south of Mexico. “Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it,” Obama said to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.

Can he do more? Sure. First, though, he needs the resources, meaning the money, to pay for the stepped-up efforts to stop the illegal immigrant flow. The funds can come from Congress.

Will the legislative branch put it up?