Gov. Rick Perry of Texas plans to order 1,000 National Guard troops to his state’s border with Mexico in an effort to stem the tide of immigrants illegally entering from Central America, dispersing around the country once they’ve made it into Texas.
Critics will call it a stunt and accuse Perry of showboating, but at least he is taking action, while President Barack Obama, who took an oath to defend the country from all enemies foreign and domestic, drinks beer, plays pool and attends fundraisers as our borders are overrun.
Polls show a majority of Americans favor stopping illegal aliens from entering the country.
In a recent telephone survey by Rasmussen Reports, 59 percent of likely U.S. voters believe “the primary focus of any new immigration legislation passed by Congress should be to send the young illegal immigrants back home as quickly as possible.” Only 27 percent think they should be allowed to stay.
The public isn’t buying what they’ve been told by the media and some Democrats that the illegal immigrants are fleeing dangerous conditions in their own countries.
Texas’ border with Mexico is 1,200 miles long, and 1,000 National Guardsmen won’t make a significant difference, but as supplements to the U.S. Border Patrol they could slow the tide.
During a 2012 Republican presidential debate, Perry defended giving in-state tuition breaks to illegal immigrants, saying those who opposed the practice don’t have a heart. That was about immigrants already here. At the time, Perry says he warned the administration of the increasing number of unaccompanied children crossing the border.
If Perry’s detractors, of whom there are many, criticize him for a “symbolic” act, what about Obama’s motive for not sending federal troops, or finishing the border fence? Obama’s critics say the president is “importing” future Democratic voters and creating another underclass that will be dependent on government and thus, the party of big government, the Democrats.
Action, even if insufficient to solve the problem, beats doing nothing in the minds of many Americans. Perry’s planned troop rollout will occur over the next 30 days. If it reduces the number of illegal immigrants flooding into Texas, Perry could embarrass and serve as a contrast to Obama and congressional Democrats. It might also improve Perry’s presidential chances should he seek the 2016 GOP nomination.
Should the immigrants, as a result of Perry’s action, attempt to enter the U.S. at the borders of New Mexico, Arizona or California, the governors of those states might consider following Perry’s example.
At an Austin news conference, Perry said he expects Washington to foot the bill for the cost of deploying the Texas National Guard. Good luck with that. He may have more success at the border than with Congress or Obama, who dither and waffle and stall as the issue of illegal immigration jumps to the top of American concerns.
Cal Thomas’ latest book is “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America” is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.