News / USA

    Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

    Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debatei
    X
    Greg Flakus
    July 30, 2014 11:28 PM
    Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

    Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. The issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

    Central American migrants continue to arrive at the south Texas border, overwhelming U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities there and diverting agents from patrols.
     
    Texas Governor Rick Perry has ordered up to a thousand National Guard troops to the border to help prevent illegal activity.
     
    "Drug cartels, human traffickers, individual criminals are exploiting this tragedy for their own criminal opportunities," said Perry.
     
    Although Perry said the troops' presence would deter many lawbreakers, law enforcement officials in the border area are skeptical, since the National Guard lacks the authority to arrest or detain people.
     
    But Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at Rice University's Baker Institute, said Perry's plan might discourage people from crossing the border.
     
    "This impact that 1,000 National Guard members may have is if you deployed them in a specific area that is seeing a lot of traffic, because they may be able to stem the tide. So, in some sense, it is not altogether in vain," said Payan.
     
    But Payan said an overall reform of the U.S. immigration system is needed to resolve this crisis.
     
    "In the end, it is not new, it has always been there and it is only one small bit of a larger problem, which only Congress and the president can resolve," he said.
     
    But that resolution is on hold for now, as the Obama administration seeks $3.7 billion from Congress to deal with the Central American influx, which U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said is quickly depleting funds.
     
    "At our current burn rate within the Department of Homeland Security, ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement will run out of money by mid-August; Customs and Border Patrol will run out by mid-September," he said.

    But many Republican lawmakers, like Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, are reluctant to approve the request.
     
    "Will this request be the end or will it be the beginning of many new requests by the administration for emergency funding?" asked Shelby.
     
    Payan said enforcement efforts alone will not be effective. "This is really a transnational problem that requires that the U.S., Mexico and the three Central American nations in the northern triangle of that section of the continent sit down and find development solutions, long-term solutions to this problem."
     
    President Barack Obama met with the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala last week. They all pledged cooperation and agreed much more needs to be done to address the fundamental reasons for the migration.

    You May Like

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
    July 31, 2014 8:58 AM
    'No entry' into my state Texas and the bordering states by any single, undocumented immigrant. It's illegal in state terms. Our governer Rick Perry must have touch with our president to stop this illegal immigration trend now. The troubled people of the South Americas and the goverments of such states must endeavor to sort their problems out. The drug cartels, war lords and their gang wars and the human traffickers.......... they do have their fiendish game plans that we Amercans are not to take. The astonishing illegal immigrations of people have already created a grave mesh not for we southern states only but for entire America.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 31, 2014 11:41 AM
    CRAZY isn't it?.... The US is the greatest country in the world, and has the greatest military forces in the history of the world, (and for some reason), hasn't defeated a single country in any conflict or war since WW2, and can't even build a fence to keep illegal immigrants out?

    CRAZY isn't it?.... In Iraq and Afghanistan, the US built (30) foot high blast-proof walls to keep Al-Qaeda and the Taliban from killing them, but they can't build (30) foot high walls here to keep illegal men, women and children out?..... Don't tell Al-Qaeda?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora