Perry Warns of 'Trail of Tears' From Illegal Immigrants Dying in Desert

Image: Perry Warns of 'Trail of Tears' From Illegal Immigrants Dying in Desert

Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 08:43 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry warned Monday that there will be a "trail of tears" this summer as illegal immigrants die while trying to cross the border into the United States.

Speaking at a Department of Public Safety facility after touring a federal detention complex housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas, he said that the government can prevent the heartache by stopping the flood of undocumented immigrants pouring into south Texas from Mexico, according to The Texas Tribune.

"The federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on foreign aid going into countries south of the United States," he said. "Yet this administration is being hesitant about spending some millions of dollars to secure the border. I think that’s what Americans are really upset about. Our federal government is the one that has the ability to work with those countries to stop this from happening."

Perry also called on the Central American nations of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala to help cut illegal immigration routes.

"We need to be sending a clear message to them: You have to do your part to stop this huge deluge of individuals coming up from your country," he said.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied youths have been caught along the southwest border this fiscal year, almost double last year's total, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However, scores of minors, as well as adults, are not making it — they are dying in the desert as they attempt to illegally cross the porous U.S. borders.

During the dangerous trek to enter the United States, they are left to die in the hot sun by so-called coyote human traffickers, rather than hold up an entire group of migrant border crossers.

Hundreds are listed by human-rights groups as succumbing each year after facing days of scorching heart and rugged terrain. Others migrants show up at Border Patrol checkpoints desperately needing food and water and even formula for their babies.

"The governor's right," Lori Baker, a professor of forensic anthropology at Baylor University who has been identifying migrant remains in Texas for years, told the Times. "It's going to be a really bad year. There are just so, so many people crossing. We're not going to find a lot of the remains."

In rural Brooks County, officials recovered 87 bodies last year, 129 the year before, and 33 so far this year. "If we find one body, we're probably missing 10," Chief Deputy Sheriff Urbino Martinez told the Times. "That's how many bodies I think are out there that haven't been discovered."

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