The State of Texas is freeing up immediate funding for a 'surge' along the Texas Mexico border to fight human smuggling gangs and deal with the influx of unaccompanied children who have been pouring into the U.S., largely from Central America, over the last several months, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Attorney General Greg Abbott says the 'surge' will provide additional funding to the Department of Public Safety to 'curtain illegal smuggling, horrific human trafficking and cartel-imported crime.
"Securing the border will reduce the illegal activity which, in turn, will promote the legitimate trade that helps make Texas the leading exporting state in the country," Abbott said.
The 'surge' comes as U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) said Border Patrol officials have told him that the number of undocumented children who have arrived in the United States, mainly from Guatemala, El Salvador, and especially Honduras, has reached 66,000 since the start of this year.
Cuellar met Wednesday with the Honduran ambassador to the U.S., and he urged the ambassador to help spread the word in Honduras that U.S. policy does not allow anybody from Central America who reaches the United States can stay here.
"As the Honduran ambassador said, right now the only words they're hearing is from the bad guys, from the smuggling operations, so we have to certainly do a lot more to counter that word," Cuellar told 1200 WOAI news.
Cuellar pointed out that since the smuggling cartels charge anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 to smuggle a person from Honduras to Texas, which, ironically, is far more than the cost of an airline ticket from Tegucigalpa to San Antonio, it is in their best interests to spread the word that the U.S. has a policy toward Central Americans which is similar to our long standing policy toward Cuban refugees.
Under what is called the 'wet foot dry foot' initiative, anybody who makes it to the dry land of the U.S. is assumed to be fleeing Communist tyranny in Cuba and is granted legal residence in the U.S.
Cuellar says the Obama Administration needs to move quickly to get the word out in Honduras that that is not our policy toward Central America.
"If we don't change this policy quickly, they are going to say, all you have to do is be from Central America and you can step in,"Cuellar said.
He says there is no doubt that by the end of the current year, the number of minors rushing the U.S. border will be in excess of 100,000. He talks about an incident the Border Patrol experienced just yesterday.
"They just got a group of 280 mothers and children, in one group, that just turned themselves in," he said. "Can you imagine that?"