Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

GOP Says Border Crisis is Obama’s Fault; Democrats Blame Violence, Poverty

UNITED STATES - MARCH 7: Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Friday, March 7, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Dueling narratives: Republicans such as Perry insist the border crisis is a national security threat, while Democrats call it a humanitarian crisis. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The border crisis unfolding in Texas is, depending on whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, either President Barack Obama’s fault or an unavoidable humanitarian crisis created by Central American violence and poverty.

Those are the competing narratives emerging in congressional statements, interviews and hearings this week as lawmakers from both parties visit detention centers in Texas and elsewhere to see firsthand the flood of young children and mothers who have entered the country illegally in recent months.

At a Homeland Security Committee field hearing in McAllen, Texas Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry led Republican criticism of the White House, telling lawmakers from both parties the flood of unaccompanied minors is attributable to failed Washington policies.

Perry and other Republicans presented the situation as a national security crisis, with Perry calling on lawmakers to supply more border security agents and more resources.

Specifically, Perry wants the National Guard sent to the border, and he wants the federal government to pay Texas back for the money it has already spent addressing the crisis.

Perry noted that there are, on average, 17 border patrol agents per mile between El Paso, Texas, and the edge of California, while there are only seven border security agents between El Paso and the eastern-most point of the Rio Grande.

Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said to fix the crisis, “the administration must first recognize its failed immigration and border policies are the source of the problem.”

McCaul noted that the committee repeatedly heard last week that “the horrible economic conditions and violence in Central America were the only reason these kids are coming.”

While McCaul said no one questions that the circumstances in these countries are terrible, “these conditions are not new, and they have not suddenly gotten worse.”

“What is new,” McCaul said, “is a series of executive actions by the administration to grant immigration benefits to children outside the purview of the law, a relaxed enforcement posture, along with talk of comprehensive immigration reform.”

But Democrats said the crisis has more to do with human dignity than with law enforcement.

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, who acted as the ranking member for the field hearing, noted she took lollipops to the holding facility in McAllen that lawmakers had visited earlier in the day.

“This is not a national security crisis,” Jackson Lee said. “This is a humanitarian crisis.”

Perry didn’t seem to disagree — at one point, he noted that “we have multiple crises here” — but he still tried to paint the situation as a national security threat.

He said the border was being penetrated “by countries with strong terrorist ties,” and he said he believes the situation was being manufactured by drug cartels.

Which is why, Perry said, the primary need is enhanced border security.

But some Democrats seemed to think that would have little effect on stemming the tide.

As California Democrat Eric Swalwell noted, children were running into the open arms of border security agents. “Wouldn’t additional border security agents increase the number of open arms these children are running into?” Swalwell asked.

Perry’s answer seemed to be that the situation is complex, but that Washington can’t continue with “the same old policies.”

“I really believe we can find a solution,” he said.



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  • Brenda Huddleston

    In my opinion, our President was just using these poor people to try to force the passing of “his” immigration bill. He is unwilling to work with congress to hammer out a bill that will work for everyone. It is his way or no way. No way to run a country!

  • Irv Spielberg

    Speaking of illegals, the government hasn’t built the border fence
    high enough to keep out the un-American criminals who want to take away
    our freedoms.
    Yes, the government hasn’t built the White House
    fence high enough to keep out the un-American criminals who are now
    inside the White House and working hard to take away the religious,
    social, and economic freedoms of true Americans!
    Here are two
    slogans that Obama would rather not think about: “Unborn babies should
    have the right to keep and bear arms – and legs and ears and eyes,
    etc.!” and “Unborn babies should have the same right to be born alive
    that abortionists had!”
    If Obama would Google “Dangerous
    Radicals of the Religious Right,” do you think he’d feel guilty merely
    walking in the hallowed halls of that House where true Americans walked?
    Is it safe to assume that Mecca Wafers are Obama’s favorite candy? And is barack-coli a vegetable or a disease?

    (For more on Obama in Washingdumb, Google “Obama Avoids Bible Verses”
    and “WHITE HOUSE-GROWN TERRORISTS starring Obaba Black Sheep….”)

    • dc matthews

      That’s some Scary Propaganda.

    • Guest

      How does people seeking refuge ‘take away from’ your freedoms?

    • Julianne Chladny

      People seeking refuge do not ‘take away from’ our freedoms.

  • dc matthews

    TEA will do any spin necessary for political points INSTEAD of helping to solve any of our problems. They prey on the ignorance and fear of some to spread misinformation. SAD.

    • jy kelly

      LOL.. TEA really ??.. All you need to do is look at your inter-city voters.. Talk about ignorance.. 95% are democrats. They vote for a person just because of the color of his skin.. Your comment is the biggest load of crap I have read today.. The tea party voters are some of the most well informed voters there is are, whether you agree with them, or not..As far as disparaging the tea party, you left out racist, to go along with the rest of your hateful little diatribe…That, (your comment) my friend, really is SAD !!

      • Charles Wolf

        Wneh you elect Republicans you get frequent, well armed mass murder sprees.

        • jy kelly

          LOL, you mean like democrat controlled Chicago ?

  • Black_Saint

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform” needs to be considered realistically. This is massive Amnesty for every illegal alien who can claim, even fraudulently, that they somehow qualify.

    The next question is what is likely to be the impact of these illegals on our nation. This topic has been extensively researched and the results are highly negative. A number of references make this point all to clearly.

    1. The 1997 National Academy of Sciences study found that each low-skilled immigrant costs $89,000 over the course of his/her lifetime. Of course, the numbers would be much higher now (thanks in part to Obamacare).

    “The NRC estimates indicated that the average immigrant without a high school education imposes a net fiscal burden on public coffers of $89,000 during the course of his or her lifetime. The average immigrant with only a high school education creates a lifetime fiscal burden of $31,000.”

    2. There is little evidence that the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of illegals will do much better. Samuel Huntington looked at this subject in his book, “Who Are We”. See Table 9.1 on page 234. The bottom line is that educational attainment rises from the first to the second generation and then plateaus at levels far below the national average. For example, even by the fourth generation only 9.6% of Mexican-Americans have a post-high school degree.

    3. The Heritage foundation found that low-skill immigrant households impose huge tax costs on Americans. See “The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer”. The summary is

    “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household. This cost had to be borne by U.S. taxpayers. Amnesty would provide unlawful households with access to over 80 means-tested welfare programs, Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare. The fiscal deficit for each household would soar.

    At the end of the interim period (after the Amnesty is complete), unlawful immigrants would become eligible for means-tested welfare and medical subsidies under Obamacare. Average benefits would rise to $43,900 per household; tax payments would remain around $16,000; the average fiscal deficit (benefits minus taxes) would be about $28,000 per household.

    Amnesty would also raise retirement costs by making unlawful immigrants eligible for Social Security and Medicare, resulting in a net fiscal deficit of around $22,700 per retired amnesty recipient per year.”

    4. Heather MacDonald has written extensively on the bleak realities of mass unskilled immigration. I recommend “Seeing Today’s Immigrants Straight”. Key quote

    “If someone proposed a program to boost the number of Americans who lack a high school diploma, have children out of wedlock, sell drugs, steal, or use welfare, he’d be deemed mad. Yet liberalized immigration rules would do just that. The illegitimacy rate among Hispanics is high and rising faster than that of other ethnic groups; their dropout rate is the highest in the country; Hispanic children are joining gangs at younger and younger ages. Academic achievement is abysmal.”

    5. Edward P. Lazear’s (CEA / Harvard Economics) paper “Mexican Assimilation in the United States” has a wealth of statistics showing the raw deal from south of the border. Summary quote.

    “By almost any measure, immigrants from Mexico have performed worse and become assimilated more slowly than immigrants from other countries. Still, Mexico is a huge country, with many high ability people who could fare very well in the United States. Why have Mexicans done so badly? The answer is primarily immigration policy.”

    See also “Lazear on Immigration”. Money quote

    “Immigrants from Mexico do far worse when they migrate to the United States than do immigrants from other countries. Those difficulties are more a reflection of U.S. immigration policy than they are of underlying cultural differences. The following facts from the 2000 U.S. Census reveal that Mexican immigrants do not move into mainstream American society as rapidly as do other immigrants.”

    • Julianne Chladny

      That research is only negative by perspective, The majority of those concerns comes down to cultural difference. That ‘illegitimacy’ as you claim is not physically hurting anyone any more than processed foods.

  • Black_Saint

    Our Immigration system is not broken what is broken is our Political system where we continue to elect corrupt/treasonous politicians that refuse to abide by our constitution against invasion, refuse to enforce our immigration laws and refuse to honor their Oath of office!

    • Julianne Chladny

      Who wrote that constitution you claim to Love above all else?
      You could not ask for better Presidential candidate, it is intelligent, well-spoken, does an excellent job as liaison, and has a very difficult role in Society in general. The amount of criticism people make towards your President slows everything down, sometimes to a halt; even though it seems the opposition will take the most cruel, inconsiderate stand-points just for the sake of argument, and feeling empowered to argue with Human Decency.

  • Black_Saint

    Migrating to America legally is, and should be, a thorough procedure meant to protect the interests of American citizens. It involves more than simply jumping a fence and heading north in pursuit of free health care, education, food stamps, and other handouts paid for by broke U.S. citizens and a Bankrupt nation!

    Legal immigration means enduring rigorous hurdles like background checks to detect a criminal background or possible ties to terrorists; medical examinations to detect diseases still prevalent in third-world nations, but long since eradicated here; proof of financial solvency so as to prevent newcomers from becoming a burden on U.S. taxpayers, and testing for knowledge of American history and English skills.

    Those who have jumped a fence into America in order to avoid our immigration checks are not immigrants. Rather, they are invading criminals, with no claim whatsoever to the welcome mat extended to legal immigrants.

    Such people do not deserve recognition, sanction or amnesty by the United States, and should be rounded up and deported as soon as possible, alone with the corrupt politicians that support this invasion.

    In truth, illegal aliens have invaded our nation, leaving America vulnerable to undetected crime, terrorism, disease, and financial devastation at the hands of people with no legal or moral justification for being here.

    • Julianne Chladny

      There is a moral reason for being here (there). Those children should not be suffering in detention centers, or terrorist environments. Did you ever stop to think that some people value themselves and their Country based on these types of Humanitarian efforts; it could very well become part of your National Pride and Identity. Perhaps you would like to tell us what brought you to North America, and we can further disqus your perspective.
      Its costs a lot of money to detain people, likely more than rehab and social housing. It costs over 40,000$ US per year to keep 1 person in prison, perhaps you are right to be concerned… make them sign an oath to American patriotism, and expect them to uphold it. Less importation of Goods and Services would be a good way to shift your primary issue, if it is your health you are concerned about. Welcome to Multi-Culturalism.

  • Bill__Kennedy

    The American establishment has broadcast messages to encourage illegal immigration since at least the time of Reagan, Obama is just the most blatant, and he follows up by making sure enforcement doesn’t mar their experience. Immigration officers have been forced to release young illegals, who might be Dreamers (or gang members), and this is the result.

    Jeb Bush tells us that illegal immigration is ‘an act of love,’ and NYT said that Bush has made so much money from corporate interests that he’s a questionable candidate. An unholy cabal of the cheap labor lobby and politicians, especially liberals, has driven this campaign, and wrapped themselves in the robes of righteousness and compassion.

  • NavyBlue1962

    We have no one to blame for Obama but the RINOs in D.C. who are scared to death because he’s black. If Nixon had tried to pull 10% of what Obama has done they would have hanged him on the White House lawn.


    The Republican Party has failed the three million unemployed families STILL WITHOUT an extension of benefits, since late last December. Over the past six months, the Republican senate has held the extension bill “hostage” in the senate, for political leverage, and party agenda. They have sentenced these families to financial ruin and deep poverty, which many may not recover from. While they fought tooth & nail for the Koch Brother’s oil pipeline bill to be passed, they totally ignored these struggling families. The Republicans have shown a total lack of compassion, and common decency towards the disadvantaged in our country. The new face of their party is Senator John Boehner. This is a man that has rejected every idea and every bill that would benefit average Americans. Billions of dollars have been approved for the Ukraine, while the extension bill is still not passed to help these families.

    • Julianne Chladny

      You have every right to be upset. Perhaps you will find comfort with self-defined Feminists and Various other supporters of Social Support networks to assist those Families while the system changes structure. It is not Government’s fault those people are debt, yes stock market crashed in 2007/2008; they realize that, enjoy the new system. (try not to get so dis-heartened as you navigate the assistance available to them.)


    There are still three million unemployed workers STILL without an extension of benefits. since late last December. The republican senate intentionally delayed and postponed voting on the bill to render it too late for passing. This has caused these millions of families to fall into financial ruin and deep poverty. While the republicans fought for the Koch Brother’s Oil Pipeline to be passed, they outright refused to help these struggling unemployed families. Now both political parties have walked away from the problem, leaving these families without assistance . and without hope. Meanwhile the government passed an aid bill for the Ukraine worth Billions of tax payer dollars. How is this possible to go on? These families need help now. Six months have passed with no action.

    • Julianne Chladny

      What do they need? Please be more specific on who you are speaking for; are there Elderly people having difficulty making ends meet, etc

  • So Nee

    In a related article we find more evidence of Hussein Obama’s serious foreign policy failure in the Middle East:

  • Julianne Chladny

    Send them to Canada. Tell them to expect to work for a living wage, and that it is not likely to make it to super-star-fame.
    (And we will do our best to make sure the Families and Children survive, without further experiencing some Holocaust type ordeal. Otherwise, that is pretty much what you would be sending them back to)

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