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Latest Surge at Texas Border: Politicians Cruz, Abbott, Davis & Perry

Ben Philpott/KUT
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (foreground, L, R) were joined by U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Flower Mound, (background, R) in touring Joint Base Lackland San Antonio today.

Texas politicians are getting a close-up look at how border authorities are handling an influx of Central American immigrants – many of them children who came here without family members.

Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott got a tour Monday of one facility housing immigrant children after they’re processed near the border: Joint Base San Antonio, where children wait for judicial hearings or to be placed with relatives.

Both Abbott and Cruz blame the increase in immigrants on the Obama administration’s deferred action for childhood arrivals policy, which offered a delay of immigration proceedings for children brought to the U.S. before 2007.

"It is unacceptable to have children housed in facilities like this," said Abbot, the Republican nominee for Texas Governor. "Equally unacceptable, though, is to have a president promoting policies that entice children to navigate more than a thousand miles away from home."

"These parents, I think, if they knew and understood what their children would experience, they wouldn’t hand these kids over," Sen. Cruz said. "But they have been led to believe that all their child has to do is get to America and they will receive amnesty."

Asked what should happen to children who successfully made it into the U.S., Cruz said they should be sent back to the countries they came from.

Additionally, Gov. Rick Perry and Democrat for Texas governor Wendy Davis made separate visits to the Mexican border region Monday, both to observe the upswing in border crossings.

Davis is calling on Gov. Perry to declare a state of emergency and to call a special session of the legislature to increase funding to local authorities and charities. In a letter to Perry, Davis also calls on the Governor to seek federal reimbursement. The Texas Tribune has more.

Governor Perry called the surge of immigrants coming into the U.S. across the Texas border, “a profound and major threat to the safety and security of our state and our country.” 

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.