A group of state lawmakers concerned with the surge of unaccompanied minors making their way to Texas are petitioning Gov. Rick Perry to call a special session to address the issue. But the governor is showing no sign that he will oblige.
A group of state lawmakers have draw up some estimates of what it would cost the state to use Department of Public Safety state troopers to run 24/7 border operations: about $67 million. One of the only ways to get the money appropriated is for the governor to call a special session.
State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, is one of those requesting Perry call lawmakers back to Austin for a fourth time since the start of 2013.
"From a state perspective I’m looking at three main issues: number 1, the humanitarian side of what are we going to do with all these kids; the other thing I would like us to do on a state level is we need to make sure the state of Texas isn’t offering them anymore reason to come over here illegally, we need to turn off all the benefits right away; and then the third part is the state needs to address its public safety and public health,” Stickland said.
In a statement, the governor's office wrote:
"A special session would not change the root of this problem, and while we will continue to commit resources to keep Texas communities safe, the ultimate solution needs to come from Washington, D.C."
Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have signed a letter asking the DPS to commit the necessary resources for a surge along the Texas border for the time being. The governor and Dewhurst are awaiting Speaker of the House Joe Strauss' final signature to initiate the less-costly border surge operation.