Half Of Border Arrests Are In Texas, Where GOP Is Going Further Right On Illegal Immigration

Half of the border arrests in the United States are in Texas, according to Breitbart’s Edwin Mora, a state where the National Journal says the local Republican Party is going even further to the right on the issue.

Mora reported that more than 480,000 illegal immigrants were arrested in the southwestern United States during fiscal year 2014, with more than half being taken into custody in the Lone Star state.

“Of those arrests, ‘about 53 percent’ occurred in the U.S. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas… More than half of the estimated 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border lies in Texas. The apprehensions in 2014 mark an estimated 15 percent increase from the 414,397 illegal aliens captured in fiscal 2013.”

In Mora’s report, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is quoted as saying the increase is primarily due to children crossing illegally into the United States.

“This summer we saw an unprecedented spike in illegal migration into South Texas. Almost all of this migration came from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador… And, as everyone knows, it consisted of large numbers of unaccompanied children and adults with children, which presented a humanitarian dimension to the problem.”

With word of the spike in illegal immigration in the state, it may come as no surprise to some political observers that the Texas Republican Party is shifting further right, according to a National Journal report on the topic.

The publication notes that Dan Patrick, the Republican who is favored to win the most powerful lieutenant governor’s post in the nation in Texas, is primarily responsible for taking the state from one of “compassionate conservatism” during the years before and after former President George W. Bush’s governorship to a more anti-immigrant stance more in line with national Republican ideology.

National Journal‘s Ronald Brownstein explains the shift.

“This dramatic shift, in the state that had previously built the most promising conservative model for attracting Hispanics, underscores how thoroughly immigration hard-liners have regained the advantage in the GOP. After Mitt Romney lost in 2012 despite winning a higher share of the white vote than Ronald Reagan in 1980, Republican interest spiked in passing a comprehensive immigration-reform package that might boost the party’s competitiveness among Hispanics. But after the Senate last year approved a bipartisan bill that included a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally, conservative resistance derailed the plan in the House.

“Since then, President Obama’s pledge to use executive authority to provide some of those undocumented immigrants legal status, the surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America, and rising anxiety over global threats as diverse as ISIS and the Ebola virus have all combined to harden the GOP’s conservative tilt on these issues. Against that backdrop, Republican campaigns this fall are ringing with denunciations of “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and warnings that terrorists might be surging across the Mexican border (a claim rejected by administration law-enforcement officials).

“Nowhere is this shifting tone more evident than in Texas. Both Bush and Perry were sensitive to the state’s growing population of Hispanics, who now comprise about two-fifths of all Texans and half of state residents under 18.”

Brownstein’s explanation of the change in Texas is a fascinating read, and appears to show how the uptick reported by Mora, along with D.C. politics and policies, are shifting opinions on the ground in Texas.

For even more on how Texas has been hit with the immigration crisis this year, check out this Inquisitr article from earlier this summer on a housing center in Texas for illegals.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]