Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Federal Government Unable to Deal with Surge of Minors

Wednesday, May 09, 2012  •  Austin, Texas  •  Noteworthy

Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared on Greta Van Susteran's 'On The Record' television show to discuss the important issue of unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
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Over the first six months of the federal fiscal year, more than 5,200 unaccompanied minors crossed the border illegally into the United States. That figure represents a surge of more 90 percent over the same period last year, with more than 1,300 children arriving in March alone. Most of them, 80 percent in fact, are coming in through Texas.

Gov. Perry discussed the importance of this issue on Greta Van Susteran's "On The Record."

Current federal policy is encouraging more and more of these minors to attempt the same, dangerous and sometimes deadly journey. That's because current federal policy is, in most cases, to let them stay. In fact, the Obama Administration has indicated that fewer than 10 percent of these arrivals are deported, with the vast majority finding a place to live in the United States.

Beyond further straining our nation's support system, these young individuals are a living symbol to their family and friends back in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras or Mexico, encouraging them to follow in their footsteps to America's freedoms.

The trip, however, will leave many injured, exploited or even dead. Along their way, these young people are subjected to violent criminal gangs, ruthless organizations that won't hesitate to rob, kidnap or even kill them. It's a humanitarian crisis, and it won't end until Washington secures our border and begins repatriating these minors back to their countries of origin.

Only by demonstrating that undertaking this journey is both extremely dangerous and ultimately fruitless can we convince them not to attempt it in the first place.
This is yet another consequence of having an unsecured border, and it's exacerbated by the federal government's apparently disinterest in returning these minors to their countries of origin.

Every day they put off taking action places more lives at risk.

Learn about Governor's Initiatives: Border Security »