East Texas State Representative talks border crisis - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas State Representative talks border crisis

Rep. Simpson visits border (Source: KLTV Staff) Rep. Simpson visits border (Source: KLTV Staff)
(KLTV) -

The topic might be as complex as it is controversial. Texas state Representative David Simpson says that controversy has taken on more of a human face, after he spent several days touring the Mexico-U.S. border. He visited three customs and border patrol stations and their detention centers just a few weeks ago.

“On the day that I went to McAllen, they had a lull in the number of children coming over, only 500, children and family units I should say. They normally have been having 1200 per day," says Simpson.

He saw what he describes as a system that is overwhelmed and dysfunctional.

“We take two years to perform a background check on people who want to come legally, and it only takes a matter of days if you come illegally,” he added.

Representative Simpson says it's all about compassion with structure.

"We need to enforce and support the rule of law, but we need to treat people with dignity. When appropriate, grant them mercy or return them to their home country," he said.

Simpson says more immigration judges are needed to take care of their status at the border. He says they need 700 border patrol agents. He outlined three specific ways he believes Texas could handle some of the issues.

“We can require that the promise to appear that is being given to many of these people is complied with before they enter our schools. We can reduce the amount of freebies here in our own state with the respect to unemployment payments and also emergency critical care should be the only thing we should extend,” he said.

With children going back to school in a few weeks, it brings up the question: will these unaccompanied migrant children be headed to Texas schools?

“We should require that the schools only serve residents of the state of Texas. Right now, there are many that come from out of state particularly from Mexico that they live there, that their families live there. There's a federal rule we are educating them at our expense,” Simpson said. Simpson says that law should be changed.

About 50,000 undocumented Central American children have arrived since October of 2013. Just over a week ago, Governor Perry announced he would be deploying 1,000 National Guard troops to the border.

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