Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) and others will testify Thursday on the border crisis, at a House field hearing held just a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Both Republicans and Democrats have used the July 4 recess to travel to the border and assess the situation, which both sides are now calling a humanitarian crisis.
Members of the House Homeland Security Committee are in Texas this week, and Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) will hold a hearing Thursday afternoon to gauge how officials have dealt with thousands of unaccompanied minors who have crossed the border so far this year.
“Since October, more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed into the United States from Mexico – nearly two thirds of those crossed through the Rio Grande Valley in Texas,” he said. “DHS is not adequately prepared to address this crisis, which has left state and local officials to fill a void left by the Federal government.”
McCaul said the Perry’s testimony would help inform the House’s findings as it investigates the crisis and considers legislation in response.
Congress may ultimately consider legislation that would allow border officials to immediately deport children from countries that don’t border the United States. President Barack Obama has asked members to consider such a bill, to allow border officials to immediately deport children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Earlier this week, several House Republicans proposed legislation that would shut off all foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico until they take steps to stop unaccompanied minors from trying to cross into the United States.
In addition to Perry, the committee will hear from Border Patrol Agent Kevin Oaks, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, as well as a Texas sheriff and a Texas judge.