Farenthold urges president to make statement about illegal immigrants
Jennifer Lee Preyss
June 16, 2014 at 1:16 a.m.
Long committed to immigration reform, U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold wants the President to make a statement to Mexico that immigrants crossing the border illegally will not be given amnesty.
"We need to get the message out that if you get up here, there is no law or policy that says you're going to get to stay," Farenthold said Monday in Victoria.
While visiting south Texas in recent weeks, Farenthold, a Republican from Corpus Christi, was invited to investigate several government facilities operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Justice.
An influx of children from Mexico and Central America who are believed to have entered the country illegally have collected near the border, rising from about 4,000 to 60,000 children, he said.
"Mostly the children have a contact in the United States ... And the word on the street in these foreign countries is if you hurry up and get to the border, you'll get amnesty," Farenthold said.
The Congressman said President Obama needs to publicly address the nation and leaders of nations south of the border, that the U.S. does not have the resources to provide for thousands of children arriving at once.
"The numbers are overwhelming our services," he said, mentioning the government must find beds, food, school programs, healthcare for 60,000 children, then pay for their airfare to either find an American guardian, or be shipped back to their home country.
Farenthold, who supports reasonable immigration reform, said while programs like the Dream Act - which supports illegal immigrant minors on their path to American citizenship - were likely started with good intentions, the result is creating a building urgency in foreign lands for foreigners to flood the border.
"What do you do? From a Republican standpoint, you're heartless if you're not careful with how you send them back and from a Democrat's standpoint, if you send them back you undermine the argument that we need to have an easier pathway to citizenship," he said.
Farenthold also urged Obama to make a statement about the large number of immigrants on the Texas border because children crossing the border will be harmed.
"It's dangerous for these kids to make this trek. Their parents or guardians are paying a coyote to make this trip for them and those coyotes are run by drug cartels," he said. "This is what I'm losing sleep over because there are kids who are going to get hurt and killed."
Farenthold said immigration overall will be one of his campaign platforms this year, as well as veterans care, Obamacare, the presidential power grab, and securing economic growth in the state.