East Texas state representative visits border
POSTED: Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 5:45pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 3:34pm
Longview, Tx (KETK) — East Texas representative David Simpson says when news of the "border crisis" broke,he knew he had to go see what was going on for himself.
"It was overwhelming..seeing children, mothers..crying in really basically what amounted to a jail."
At a Senate hearing Wednesday,immigration officials told Congress,57,000 unaccompanied children have been picked up at the border since October.
Simpson says, in a nation rich in immigration history, you'll find "hope" at the beginning of every "American Dream."
"Some of the people, when they described the unaccompanied children, and why they were coming..they said three reasons.. hope, hope..and hope. I''m so thankful that we still have a country..that people want to come to..they believe in freedom..they believe in opportunity here..we must be grateful that we are the land of the free."
Simpson says this immigration crisis is shedding light on a flawed system that needs a major overhaul.
He says additional immigration judges and follow-ups to ensure immigrants are becoming productive citizens are key components to repair the crisis.
"We want them to come..if they're hard working and they need asylum..but we want them to come in an orderly manner.."
Simpson says after days of seeing the despair firsthand, immigration is not a political issue to him..it's humanitarian.
"There is a place for being compassionate..for those seeking asylum..unaccompanied minors and families that are avoiding conflict and war and drug lords...there's a place for welcoming those who will work hard..fear God..uphold our laws."
As for President Obama's decision to not visit the border, Simpson says, it's disappointing.
" I think that's unfortunate..i think he needs to go down and see the faces..see the people, thank the customs and border protection officers..and our dps..i do think it was a mistake to merely come here..to fundraise..i do think he should go to the border..and look firsthand and see what's happening."
Rep. Simpson plans to hold a Town Hall Meeting to further discuss his trip. KETK will update information on that when it becomes available.