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The Source: Congressman Lamar Smith On The Border

Governor Perry's "Operation Strong Safety" saw its first troops hit the border this week. The troops were called up last month as a reaction to increasing numbers of migrants--most from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala--crossing the border. The operation was estimated to cost 12 million dollars per month, and the troops are arriving at what is historically a low time for migration due to extreme heat.

Congressman Lamar Smith joined us to talk about issues on the border and possible solutions. We talked about public support for the HUMANEbill, which he voted for. In addition, we discussed different interpretations of the causes of the spike in unaccompanied youth crossing the border.

The cause of the surge has fueled intense debate with the political right pointing to an El Paso Border Patrol surveyof 240 youth crossing the border. Most of the youth said they thought they could get "permisos" to stay. Many have linked this with President Obama Deferred Action program.

The political left points to a surveyconducted by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, in which respondents said fear of violence was the reason they left not legal changes in the US.


  • Lamar Smith, congressman for the 21st district of Texas which includes the Hill Country and parts of North San Antonio
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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org