Illegal Immigration Crisis And New State Funds - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Illegal Immigration Crisis And New State Funds

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(KCEN) --   I-35’s whirring corridor has a dirty little secret, as a stealthy danger gains speed in Texas

Now Governor Rick Perry and state leaders are taking border security into their own hands to the tune of $1.3 million a week.

Perry says Texas can no longer wait on the federal government to act on what he calls a "security and humanitarian crisis."

The newest fuel for the financial fight against illegal immigration and human trafficking comes just days after a shocking revelation in a quiet, McLennan County town nestled next to the interstate.


This spring thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children were secretly housed there by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which asked that the exact location not be disclosed in order to protect the children there.

The Chairman of Texas’ State Affairs Committee, Byron Cook, echoes Governor Perry’s opinion that the state has no choice but to take on this post-9/11 threat itself, due to inaction by the federal government.

He calls the new investment modest compared to the scale of the task.

“When you tour the border, you're struck by how difficult it is to secure that border without a monumental effort to do it,” said Representative Cook, whose district borders McLennan County’s northern edge.

Over the past eight months, the number of illegal immigrants who have been apprehended already surpasses last year's total.

It’s crowding area prisons and court rooms.

“I didn't get any illegal reentry cases in 2010. 2011, I think I noticed a spike in those cases, and now it's to the point that it's every other case that we're getting appointed to,” says Attorney Brad Glendening.

Tax dollars pay Criminal Justice Act Panel members, like Glendening, a thousand dollars per case on average, and if those clients are convicted, sentences can vary from two to 20 years.

The case that needs cracking now is how to make a change.

“It’s going to take a huge effort from the federal government," says Cook.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas
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