President Obama's appropriations request only deals with one aspect of the current crisis on our southern border, while barely addressing its root cause: an unsecured border.
Of the $3.7 billion in President Obama's request, only a small fraction is directly dedicated to border security efforts, which are absolutely essential to resolving this crisis, and avoiding more such crises in the future.
Everything else is only treating a symptom of a much-larger problem. And as we know with treating symptoms, the problems will continue until the root cause is resolved.
As governor of Texas, I've been to the border many times, including a June trip to visit a detention facility in McAllen, Texas. The true humanitarian disaster has to be seen to be understood, which is why it's essential the president make his own trip there as soon as possible.
The fact is, this is a crisis created by failed federal policy, and a lack of will to dedicate the resources necessary to secure the border, once and for all.
This has been a problem for a long time. In Texas, we've spent more than $500 million since 2005 to supplement border protection, fighting transnational gangs and drug cartels conducting criminal activities in the border region. With the influx of immigrants further straining the existing federal resources that already weren't sufficient for the job, we've expanded our efforts to combat those elements seeking to take advantage of the situation.
President Obama should make securing the border the top priority in resolving this crisis. To begin with, he should send 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to support operations until sufficient Border Patrol agents can be hired, trained and deployed.
He should also direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drone flights along the border to identify and track those engaging in drug or human trafficking.
Ignoring the core problem will only cause more hardship, encouraging more people to leave their families and risk their lives to cross a desert in the middle of summer.
My hope is that Congress will expand measures that will enable us to finally secure the border, and that President Obama will sign it into law.