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Gov. Perry To Testify At Congressional Border Hearing Thursday
Updated: Thursday, July 3 2014, 11:50 AM CDT
"Crisis on the Texas Border": that's the name of the federal hearing in McAllen that Governor Rick Perry will be testifying at Thursday. It's his second visit to the border in two weeks, and it comes after he called on President Obama via Twitter on Wednesday to tour the border with him to "see firsthand what is happening there" when he visits Austin for a fundraiser on July 9.
Fourteen members of Congress, half of them from Texas, will hear from Governor Perry on what he's seen touring the overcrowded shelters. The goal Thursday: to find a solution to what the White House is calling an "immediate humanitarian crisis".
Austin-area U.S. Congressman and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) is holding the hearing, which comes after more than 52,000 children have crossed into the U.S. illegally without their parents since last October, almost twice as many as the same period the year before. Rep. McCaul says nearly two-thirds of the children have crossed into the U.S. through the Rio Grande Valley section of Texas, and some estimates say that number could climb to 60,000 to 80,000 by the end of the year.
Several other high profile officials besides Gov. Perry will take the stand, including Steve McCraw, the director of the Department of Public Safety, who told KEYE-TV the message he plans to send during his testimony.
"This is a series of consequences," said McCraw. "This is something that the Texas state legislature certainly has got it for a long period of time. They've recognized that transnational crime impacts our border communities, but it impacts the entire state. Securing the border may not be a state responsibility, but it's vitality important that it be done."
Right now the increased DPS response is costing the state $1.3 million per week.
Watch the hearing from noon to 3 p.m.: http://bit.ly/1j0qa2F