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Fri, 04 Jul 2014 18:42:26 +0000
(MCALLEN, Texas) -- The House Homeland Security Committee held a field hearing in Texas on Thursday to address the surge of unaccompanied minors entering the United States.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on President Obama to secure the American border and asked that undocumented immigrants coming into the nation be detained and sent back to their home countries.
"Allowing them to remain here...will only encourage the next group of individuals," Perry said.
The Republican governor also urged the federal government to station more Border Patrol agents in his state.
Homeland Security Chair Mike McCaul called the crisis a national security threat.
"The point is our military bases are turning into refugee camps," McCaul said. "I never thought I would see this in the United States of America."
Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers criticized conservatives for their views on immediate deportation.
"The massive deportation policy for children, and a mandatory detaining for children is not a humane thing to do," Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said.
The Lone Star State is running out of room and resources, prompting officials to transfer hundreds of immigrants to California for processing. A facility at Bush Airport in Houston will serve as a staging point for the immigrant children, who will be flown to relatives' homes or foster homes across the country.
The groups have been greeted by protesters, as anti-immigration activists see the steps as a form of amnesty. Individuals waving American flags Tuesday blocked buses of undocumented immigrants from getting through at a border patrol center in Murrieta, California. The Homeland Security vehicles were forced to retreat.
Others in support of the undocumented asked Americans to show compassion.
"We're asking for people to view this from a humanitarian, from a global standpoint and realize that these are our children and these are children who oftentimes, it wasn't their decision on whether to be brought or to come here on their own," said Cesar Espinosa, a spokesman for the immigration advocacy group FIEL.
Protesters returned on Friday, camped outside the station as they grilled hot dogs and planned to once again stop the buses.
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