During a House of Representatives hearing on Thursday, Governor Rick Perry asked for additional funds to protect the Texas border, as well as a refund on the millions the state has spent on the border. “Texas needs to be reimbursed for the $500 million we’ve spent," Perry said. "Secure this border Mr. President.”
The House Homeland Security Committee travelled to Texas to discuss the child migrant crisis and visit the processing facilities where the children are being held. More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended crossing into the United States since October, mostly in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas. Perry called the situation both a humanitarian crisis and a national security crisis, and called for cracking down on illegal immigration now to deter future immigrants.
"Those who come must be sent back to demonstrate," that the journey isn't worth it, Perry said. America, he added, needs to send a message that "you cannot come to the United States just because someone is handing out a flyer." When Rep. Filemon Vela, also from Texas, asked Perry if he disagreed that many of the children are coming as refugees or to be reunited with their families, Perry replied that more individuals would continue to come unless there was a deterrent. What's next, he asked, "do they start shipping people from other parts of the world? ... We cannot, as a country that respects the rule of law," allow the flow of children to continue unimpeded, he said.
Earlier this afternoon Perry appeared on Fox News to discuss the crisis and called on President Obama to visit the border himself. “If he doesn’t come to the border, I think it’s a real reflection of his lack of concern of what’s really going on there,” he said.