Troops will not solve border crisis


AP Exchange

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the media after meeting with business owners Wednesday in New York. 

Thousands of refugee children from Central America have shown up at our border. For any rational individual, the expected response would be to send the Red Cross and other humanitarian entities to provide aid and comfort to the children, almost unanimously fleeing violence in their home countries and facing some form of abandonment by their parents. Lamentably, rational individuals are not making decisions on this issue in Texas government.

Gov. Rick Perry has dispatched the Texas National Guard to the border area. For what, this board is not exactly sure. The Border Patrol, an arm of the Federal Department of Homeland Security, has the unchallenged power not only to enforce the border laws but also to make arrests. Perry has specifically prevented the guard from having explicit arresting privileges.

This board would much prefer substantive solutions to this humanitarian problem rather than empty political posturing from a future presidential candidate. Photo ops of Perry leaning on a machine gun in a helicopter or posing with Sean Hannity in military gear might curry favor with the primary voters in Iowa or South Carolina, but it does very little to solve the actual problem at hand.

We believe that these children should be treated for what they are: refugees. Whether they have been from Europe, Asia or even Cuba, the United States has always accepted desperate, young refugees with open arms. The current situation — holding these young people in deplorable, subhuman conditions while they await possible deportation — is
truly sickening.

Furthermore, attempts to politicize this crisis by casting the refugee children as some type of disease-ridden infiltrators, hellbent on destroying this country, merely elucidate the absurdity of the Tea Party’s positions on the matter. 

Politicians such as Perry talk a big game about wanting to live by so-called Christian values, which coincidentally align with his ideology and the status quo. The real test of these values is when they challenge a deeply-held conviction. Perry, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott and many others all fall notoriously quiet on this subject now that it has broached the topic of unaccompanied refugee children at the border.