- The Washington Times - Friday, July 4, 2014

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said the border crisis is not a national security threat and is welcoming illegal immigrant children with candy.

During a House Homeland Security field hearing in McAllen, Texas, on Thursday, Ms. Jackson Lee showed the audience a bag of lollipops that she said she took to give to illegal immigrant children at border detention centers, Breitbart reported Thursday.

“This is not a national security crisis,” Ms. Jackson Lee emphasized, noting that she was not armed and did not fear for her life when visiting the children. She added that Border Patrol agents claimed the children were some of the most “orderly” and “behaved” children they have encountered.

But multiple reports indicate that dangerous gang members have already been caught crossing the border.

Rep. Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania Republican, said the federal government’s first priority is to protect American citizens, adding that he was “not convinced that we know enough about the children that are here” to believe they will do no harm, Breitbart reported.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that the dramatic increase of people crossing the border has become a major distraction for immigration agents, making the border less secure than at any other time in recent years.

SEE ALSO: Texas Gov. Rick Perry says U.S. border less secure now

Mr. Perry invited President Obama to visit the border during a White House trip to Texas, but Mr. Obama refused the invitation, accusing Mr. Perry of playing politics by urging him to visit when he is already fully aware of the situation.

Officials say about 10,000 children traveling without their parents are being apprehended each month and nearly that many illegal immigrants traveling as families are also being caught crossing the border.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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