Jerry Brown, the governor of California, this week set a very different tone on the issue of immigration to that of Rick Perry, the governor of Texas. The difference is perhaps not surprising given that Brown governs the US state that has the greatest number of immigrants in the country.
“These are children, and many of them have relatives that are in California and other parts of the United States who are working, contributing to the wellbeing of people in the United States,” Brown declared of the thousands of undocumented immigrant minors flocking to the US from Central America. Many of these are traversing the length of Mexico from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to escape gang violence.
Texas governor Perry has said he wants 1,000 National Guard troops sent to the border between Texas and Mexico to the tune of $12m per month, much to the disgust of many. “The myth of a ‘crisis’ is being used by politicians to justify ever-tighter restrictions on immigration, play to anti-immigrant voters in the fall elections and ignore the reasons so many children are coming here in the first place,” believes El Paso county judge Veronica Escobar.
Writing for the New York Times, Escobar says that around 2,500 refugees were brought to El Paso in the last month after having crossed the border elsewhere. These refugees were quickly supported by the local community, which is in stark contrasts to the heated pronouncements being promoted in the mainstream media.