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All eyes are on Texas immigrant charter buses & that might just be a good thing
texas bus
Migrants the Border Patrol simply released onto the streets from detention centers in Texas are shown at a resource center in downtown San Antonio where they were given food and a bag with basic hygiene products, then escorted to a nearby shelter to spend the night.

California is not Texas.

And it is why the Lone Star State is ground zero for this nation’s dysfunctional immigration policies.

Texas has 29 million residents. Some 17 percent of its citizens are first generation immigrants here both legally and illegally.

California has a smidgen under 40 million residents. Some 27 percent of its citizens are first generation immigrants here both legally and illegally.

The United States, by contrast, has 329 million residents. Some 14 percent of its citizens are first generation immigrants here both legally and illegally.

The United States Border Patrol in the first five months of the current federal fiscal year from October through February reported 802,638 apprehensions of people entering this country illegally in the Southwest sector.

That is up 109.9 percent from the same five-month period of the previous federal fiscal year when the number was at 382,301.

Keep in mind these are the numbers of people sneaking into the country illegally that the Border Patrol encountered. It does not include those that slipped through undetected.

There are nine Southwest sectors within the Border Patrol.

Three of them lead into California. Five of them lead into Texas.

From October to February there were 209,657 apprehensions in the California sectors.

From October to February there were 360,017 apprehensions in the Texas sectors.

Texas with three quarters of the population of California had almost 80 percent more apprehensions.

Now envision what is happening when those that are apprehended and not sent back but instead are processed and then released onto the streets with a promise to appear for further processing.

Pundits far and wide but mostly not in Texas or even in the other border states that include California, Arizona, and New Mexico are slamming Lone Star State Gov. Greg Abbott for what they condemn as his “stunt” to charter buses to transport catch and release immigrants dumped into Texas communities to Washington, D.C.

They call what Texas is doing cruel and inhumane. The reason is because those that willingly have accepted rides on three charter buses as of Wednesday.

Their anger should be directed at the federal government.

The federal government has been releasing immigrants without any resources or means of support in Texas communities. It is exactly what everyone is accusing Texas of doing.

Immigration is a federal issue yet the federal government is making it a local issue when they dump immigrants on to the streets.

It should be noted that for decades politicians of both blue and red persuasion as well as those in between in both California and Texas have been on the forefront of efforts to reform this nation’s dysfunctional immigration policy that has created the current mess.

The most pragmatic and beneficial solutions to the United States and its economy  involving those brought here legally by their parents as well as working to earn paths to citizenship are routinely blown up by national politics with both sides to blame.

That’s because they view the immigration as an invasion and not the import of fabric needed to strengthen the woven American cloth.

Do not misunderstand. We need to regulate as much as possible access to this country for a myriad of reasons. We also need to have a system that can absorb immigrants orderly, effectively, and efficiently.

It is madness to do otherwise.

Take those targeted by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) efforts.

There are 3.6 million children brought here by parents that entered the United States illegally.

If the estimate that 27 percent of all undocumented immigrants in the United States reside in California, then 820,000 of them are Californians.

Based simply on what it costs to educate students through 13 years of public school, California invests well over $150,000 for the education of an individual child.

That represents almost $120 billion  alone in tax dollars invested in education that would be thrown away if the 860,000 DACA individuals in California are eventually deported.

It would be a triple whammy to our economy. Not only would $120 billion and whatever other taxes were spent on various services for the DACA individuals have been for naught, we would lose 820,000 educated workers and the countries that compete with us in the global economy would have an infusion of well-educated people without costing them a dime.

The problem with immigration policy discussions are they are held hostage to the two extremes.

On one extreme are those that project the existence of criminals or dead weight defined as those that won’t contribute to the economy among the ranks of those wanting to enter the country one way or another onto every immigrant. Then there are those that seem to think the United States has an obligation to let everyone in and to supply them with all their basic needs for as long as it is needed.

It is rare — it not impossible — to find a California community that doesn’t have immigrants. It is just as impossible to find one that doesn’t have immigrants that are here illegally.

Assuming the various numbers tossed around by groups such as the Pew Research Center and the Migration Policy Institute are correct there are between 2.3 million and 2.9 million undocumented people within California’s borders.

They are not, as some assume, on the public dole. They are finding ways to survive by working.

And they are not just doing so in the fields that grow food that feed us all.

This is not to say the ranks of undocumented immigrants or those “turned loose” while awaiting further processing after being apprehended don’t have criminals — including the white-collar variety —  among them.

Nor does it mean that some aren’t simply surviving via sliding by.

But to assume that the vast majority have fled shipwrecks of homelands and ventured out in the equivalent of life rafts to reach the proverbial shores of America only to be satisfied with spending the rest of their lives moored in a lifeboat is way off base from reality.

Once here, history, both distant and recent, shows such immigrants work feverishly to be able to board and maintain a solid boat christened “The American Dream” to continue their journey through life as well as to lay the foundation for a better life for their children.

Texas isn’t dumping immigrants on DC.

Their message is clear.

The dysfunctional federal policies that we are dealing with is the direct result of the majority of states in this country failing to act through their elected federal representatives.

All Texas is doing is making sure the federal government — and by extension the rest of the nation that supports not having a resolute and effective immigration policy — to share in the burden they have created.

Call it a stunt if you want but it is drawing attention to a colossal failure when it comes to immigration that no one in authority in Washington, D.C. seems to want to handle let alone solve.


This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at