Texas governor testifies on child immigration crisis

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry says in addition to the humanitarian crisis created by a flood of unaccompanied child immigrants from Central America, there is a crisis involving border security.

Perry testified today at a congressional field hearing in South Texas. He blamed the problem partly on recent changes in immigration policy that he says sent a message to Central Americans that if the children came, they would be allowed to stay. Perry says anything but deporting the children quickly will only encourage more to undertake the dangerous journey. He also said the National Guard should be brought to the border to secure it.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October. Three-fourths of them are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and say they are fleeing pervasive gang violence and crushing poverty.

Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston said at the hearing that quick deportations of the children back to their home countries would be “inhumane.”

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