Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Obama Administration created border crisis

June 30, 2014

Houston Community News
Obama Administration created border crisis

Monday, June 30, 2014

There is a cataclysmic crisis escalating along the Texas border that was created by the Obama Administration. Thanks to an administration with a political axe to grind, federal, state and local law enforcement in southern border states are being overwhelmed by a massive influx of unaccompanied alien children coming from Central American countries, such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala unimpeded through Mexico into the United States.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied youths have been caught along the southwest border this fiscal year, almost double last year’s total. The epicenter of the crisis is the Rio Grande Valley, where more than 37,000 were detained this year, an astonishing number that almost triples last year’s total. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) predicts that number will reach a crushing 150,000 for FY2015.

These children are making a perilous journey through Mexico and then walking miles across a hostile border environment, assisted by DRUG smugglers, and entering the U.S. in violation of the law. Thanks to this Administration’s lenient enforcement policies and insistence that any immigration reform bill must have amnesty, the drug cartels have put the word out in Central America that once these children reach Border Patrol agents, they will be taken into custody and never sent back home. These policies help fund the drug cartels.

Unfortunately, Texas and law enforcement are paying a heavy price for this administration's lax approach to border security. Thanks in large part to an Executive Order of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals issued by President Obama in 2012, children from Central America have been traveling along an unfettered and dangerous path through Mexico and into the US at an alarming rate. Again, this crisis could have been avoided if President Obama wasn't promoting a perception of leniency an effort to force Congress to act against the will of the American people on immigration legislation. Much of this disaster was created when the Obama White House issued Executive Orders such as the DHS "Catch and Release" policies that issue illegal immigrants a Notice to Appear in court and release them back into border communities. Another problem is the policy that prohibits DHS from immediately deporting unaccompanied minor children back to their country of origin.

The President continues to implement policies outside of his authority without congressional approval. Yet just last week, the Supreme Court issued a strong rebuke of this overreach by striking down Obama's unconstitutional recess appointments.

Texas and other Border States continue to bear the brunt of these failed policies. Governor Perry has begged the Obama White House to send National Guard troops to the border to help manage the overflow of unaccompanied alien children. This administration should be pulling out all the stops to get our borders under control; instead he chastises Congress for failing to grant amnesty to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in America.

Let's be clear, there is no mechanism in the Senate immigration bill that would fix this crisis. And the flawed Senate bill will never get my vote, primarily because it fails to fix the crisis at the border. Sadly, President Obama's cherry picking of which laws he chooses to enforce, means it will be very difficult for me to support any immigration reform until we have a new, trustworthy president.

What will fix the problem is immediate action to secure our borders and enacting policies that send a strong message to folks trying to infiltrate their way into America illegally.

The American people know we are the only ones in Washington listening to them. While we are limited in what we can do in the House to rein in this imperial presidency, until we elect a new Senate, we will continue to use the tools we do have to limit our President’s power and hold him accountable.