A congressional committee made a field trip to Texas on Thursday to investigate the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border that has immigration and local authorities scrambling to find shelter. Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the House Homeland Security Committee the kids should be sent back to their home countries as soon as possible to deter others from making the dangerous journey. "Some may think by allowing them to stay here it's the more humane option and I assure you it’s not," the Republican governor said. The ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, said the children are victims. "This is not a national security crisis," she said. "This is a humanitarian crisis."
More than 50,000 minors have come into the United States through Mexico since October, many of them from Central America. Officials in Dallas County, Texas, are expected to announce plans to temporarily house 2,000 of the children, with Washington footing the bill. "This is an American problem, it's a Texas problem, and we have the capabilities to help them," County Judge Clay Jenkins told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. Meanwhile, in Murrieta, California, dozens of protesters blocked a bus bringing in women and children for processing, saying they feared the undocumented immigrants would be released into the community.
— Tracy Connor
First published July 3 2014, 8:14 AM