Gov. Rick Perry’s office says 160,000 illegal immigrants have entered the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and been arrested by the border patrol so far in 2014, more than the entire number who were arrested last year, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The governor toured a federal facility in Weslaco where some of the children who have poured into the U.S. from Central America in recent weeks are being warehoused.
“The staggering rise in the number of individuals crossing the U.S. border illegally represents a profound and major threat to the safety and security of our state and our country,” Perry said.
Perry stressed that the state is providing $1.3 million per week to the Department of Public Safety to continue the ‘surge’ in law enforcement along the border, which will last until the end of the year.
Perry also said 37,000 illegal immigrant unaccompanied children have been apprehended in Texas this year, about two thirds of the total of 52,000 the White House says have come into the U.S. in 2014.
Perry joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) in blasting the Obama White House for not doing more to secure the border. State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) called on Perry to call a special session of the Legislature immediately to deal with the growing Central American refugee crisis, and she said the bill for the state’s efforts should be sent to Washington DC.
Customs and Border Protection is scrambling to find places to house these kids, about 1,000 of whom are now in a former barracks at Lackland air Force Base. The Associated Press repots that an empty 55.000 square foot warehouse in McAllen is apparently being transformed into a holding center for another 1,000 of the children.