Texas Border Sheriffs Chief: Officers 'Handcuffed' on Immigration

Friday, 13 Jun 2014 03:58 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The thousands of children and teens illegally crossing the United States' southern border could be catastrophic for Texas, Arizona, and other states, said Don Reay, executive director of the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition, and it will affect the region's economic stability.

Reay, who made headlines after comparing the influx into Texas to that after Hurricane Katrina, told Newsmax TV's "America's Forum" that sheriffs departments in his state are "handcuffed" when it comes to dealing with the migrants.

"We've not had the numbers that have gone into Arizona, and I've been following the Arizona situation, as well," said Reay, but emphasized still there are plenty of immigrants to deal with in Texas.

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"For example, in El Paso, there were about 270 came in over the weekend," Reay said. "I understand they've all been dispersed now and got in this catch-and-release program where they're supposed to appear someplace else. Now that's going to very probably create a law enforcement issue for where they were destined for because I venture to say if past history is any indicator, that many won't report as ordered to."

There are also many health issues to deal with, which will affect the sheriffs' departments and communities, as well.

"When I read reports that say that yes we quarantined off an area, [that means] we put up a piece of evidence tape," Reay said. "How does that stop germs from flowing?"

But the immigrants will keep coming as long as policies allowing them to do so keep coming from Washington, and the Border Patrol is "handcuffed" from doing what it's supposed to do, Reay said.

"I honestly think that people are seeing this open border as an opportunity to get here," he said. "This has been done by a policy by the executive branch that circumvents the legislative branch."

He noted that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has proposed that the government send the state $30 million and allow it to conduct border patrolling themselves, which could free Border Patrol agents to do more immigrants' processing.

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