According to a Sunday story in the Hill, Texas Gov. Rick Perry appeared on the ABC News show “This Week” and accused the Obama administration of either being inept or not caring about the illegal immigration crisis that is afflicting border states such as Texas. Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, many of them unaccompanied children from Central America, have flooded across the southern border. The Border Patrol and local officials have been overwhelmed by the task of caring for these immigrants and have been diverted away from border protection.
According to Hot Air, the ABC News interviewer, Martha Raddatz, pointed out that the federal government is following a law signed by President George W. Bush in 2008 that requires that children from noncontiguous countries such as states in Central America be taken into custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The law is the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. Perry insisted that the Constitution requires that the federal government secure the border.
The flood of child illegal immigrants has touched off the long simmering debate over illegal immigration. On the one hand some suggest that it is an argument for comprehensive immigration reform, which would involve a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Other counter that is an argument for stepped up border security. They point out that the Wilberforce Act would not have been invoked if the child immigrants had been barred from entering the country to start with.
Accusations of bad faith and incompetence by Perry and others on the part of the administration are complicating matters. The theory is that the Obama administration would be pleased if the 12 million or more illegal immigrants in the United States be given citizenship. The idea is that most of them would become Democratic voters, thus giving the president’s party permanent governing status.