This is how the rest of the country – and Murrieta, for that matter – should act.
Earlier this week, Gov. Jerry Brown threw his support behind federal efforts to care for unaccompanied minors who have flooded across the Mexican border in recent months, saying that "whatever can be done by a mere governor, will be done." He offered no specifics, and an aide said later that his comment was a statement of principal rather than a policy roll-out. And how much help the feds might need is unclear; most of the minors are being placed with relatives or sponsors while they await immigration hearings.
As it is, the state Office of Emergency Services says it has received no requests from the federal government for help, though the feds have looked for assistance elsewhere. While some states have been more receptive than others, Texas takes the lead in ostentatious bluster with once and possibly future Republican presidential candidate Gov.
About those troops: Just in case you were uncertain how much of the move is political grandstanding, the Texas National Guard does not have the authority to arrest anyone, and their deployment wasn't sought by the state Department of Public Safety nor the National Guard itself. So what will they be doing? Observation, including from helicopters and towers.
"We'll detect them and then we'll call the DPS," Maj. Gen. John Nichols told a Texas legislative panel. "It's a new mission for us, a new paradigm."
To get ready, the troops will receive 2-1/2 weeks of training from the state police and get lessons in basic Spanish, the Dallas Morning News reported. The cost: $17 million a month, which will have to be reallocated from existing programs. All so Perry can say he did something when, in fact, the National Guard won't be doing much of anything.
This issue of unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally has been subject to significant levels of confusion and misinformation, with anti-immigration folks saying the minors should be stopped at the border, or sent them back immediately. Yet neither response is allowed under existing Wilberforce law (some Obama critics complain that he should enforce the immigration law, when in fact, that's what the administration is trying to do). Yes, that law was aimed at human trafficking, but it wasn't written that way, and until Congress can gain some maturity and fix it, that law determines how the federal government must act.
Beyond the politics, the cold hard reality is the kids are here and they must be dealt with. If they have a legally recognized reason to stay, they should be allowed the opportunity to make their cases in immigration court.
And given the historic and present connections between California and Central America, it only makes sense for Brown to pledge California's help to the feds in housing some of the minors as the legal processes run their course. That's not political grandstanding; that's a human and humane response to a crisis.