Texas is doing its part to help alleviate the migration crisis at its border with Mexico, and now it’s time for Congress to help by passing a bill to resolve the situation, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst insists.
“What is [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid thinking, and what is he doing?” Dewhurst asked “America’s Newsroom” host Bill Hemmer on Fox News Friday. “They’re not listening to the states suffering the problem.”
Texas is the “gateway” for immigrants, and if an immigrant crisis can happen there, “it can happen everywhere in the country,” Dewhurst said.
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He said he agrees completely with Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s frustration, when he commented about a border bill not coming through the House on Thursday.
“What are we presented here in the United States Senate?” said McCain. “I say shame on you. Shame on you for not allowing those of us who represent the states most affected by this to have an amendment.”
The amendment in question would fix a loophole in a 2008 anti-trafficking law that forbids the government to deport children from countries other than Mexico or Canada quickly, a provision that many blame for the current surge of children at the border.
“He is right on,” Dewhurst told Hemmer. “Texas is acting and Congress needs to move. They need to pass a border security bill.”
Texas has conducted a surge with its state police department, said Dewhurst, and Gov. Rick Perry has ordered out the National Guard, and as a result of actions that have been taken, in a 60-mile stretch, the state has “been able to shut down and reduce illegal immigration in this very, very active sector, the Rio Grande Valley, by some 50 percent.”
But there are many more miles that need covered, he said.
“We have 1,200 miles of the 2,000 miles of border between Mexico and the United States,” said Dewhurst. “We’re determined, we’re acting in Texas.”
He noted the state is spending some $18 million a month to help stem the immigration flood, which includes costs for 1,000 state police officers.
But Dewhurst said his state can’t bear the entire burden of the immigration crisis.
“We need a bill passed by Congress, today, today,” said Dewhurst. “For heaven’s sake, Texas is acting. We need Congress to act and pass a bill that plugs the loophole in the 2008 law. Then we need to stop the amnesty in the 2012 executive order.”
He also called for border states to have some reimbursable funding, “so we can have an orderly process to deport people coming into the United States illegally.”
Dewhurst acknowledged the threat of executive action from the White House, which he says is “contrary, I believe, to our constitutional rights and … is contrary to U.S. law.”