On July 3, the House Homeland Security Committee held a field hearing in Texas on the unaccompanied minor surge in order to hear from those directly responding to the crisis at the border. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), the Chairman of the Committee, presided over the hearing, and six other representatives from the Committee also asked questions of the witnesses. In addition, the Chairman allowed five other members who are not on the Committee to question the witnesses, such as Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), who is currently leading the working group Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) formed to address the crisis.
The chief witness at this hearing was Texas Governor Rick Perry. Also testifying were U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s Chief Patrol Agent of the Rio Grande Valley Sector Kevin Oaks, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steve McCraw, Interim Sheriff of Hidalgo County Eddie Guerra, Judge Ramon Garcia of Hidalgo County, and Bishop Mark Seitz of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso.
Both Governor Perry and local officials laid the blame for the crisis on the Obama Administration, both for failing to physically secure the Texas border and for sending the message that those who successfully crossed would be allowed to stay. (See Bloomberg Government Transcripts, Jul. 3, 2014 and Jul. 7, 2014) Governor Perry pointed out that while the California and Arizona borders have 17 Border Patrol agents per mile, the Texas border has only seven, and he requested that the federal government send 1,000 National Guard troops to guard the Texas border until 3,000 new Border Patrol agents can be trained and sent there. …Read More: