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WASHINGTON – President Obama said he won’t go to the border because he doesn’t want to do a “photo-op.”

But a Texas congressman who just returned from the U.S. border with Mexico said the right presidential photo-op could actually solve the humanitarian crisis there, and stop the flood of illegal immigrants crossing into the country.

Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, said the head of the border guard union told him, “If President Obama stood by an airplane and returned the people to Guatemala, that, overnight, it would stop the flow.”

The numbers are astounding.

The New York Times reports an estimated 290,000 illegal immigrants, including 52,000 unaccompanied children, have crossed the border illegally in the Rio Grande Valley to cities around the county, just in recent months.

“There are more people coming across the border than we sent to invade France in World War II,” marveled Stockman.

“That is an invasion of our nation, and most of them are coming into Texas. We need to take quick action.”

Stockman and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, were the first members of Congress to gain access inside one of the overcrowded border facilities where immigrants have been detained.

The lawmakers arrived as the detainees were served lunch: a burrito, apple and water.

“I think the most shocking thing I saw was kids giving themselves up to the border guards. I had thought more border guards would help, but not at all.”

The congressman said even if there were “a million” border guards, it wouldn’t help, because the immigrants “were not running from us, they were running to the guards.”

Since refugees are usually running from something rather than toward something, WND asked: Were these immigrants refugees, as Democrats have claimed?

“No, there are many U.S. cities that have a higher murder rate than Guatemala,” Stockman observed, adding, “Does that mean we’re going to get refugees from Chicago?”

With Obama apparently unwilling to stop what Stockman called an invasion, WND asked him what Congress could do to stem the sudden surge of immigrants, especially those from Central America.

The congressman noted that we faced a similar crisis in 2005 when a large number of immigrants from Brazil started streaming into the country, but President George W. Bush solved the problem and deported them by using one of Obama’s favorite tools, the executive order.

Stockman said it would be much more humane to stop the flow than to allow it to continue, with so many left vulnerable to kidnapping, rape and murder during 30-day, thousand-mile long trips.

“We need to return the families back home so we send a message, ‘You come up here, you’re going to be sent home quickly.’”

Why not build the fence right now?

The Texan noted Congress has already allocated money for the fence, but no one has built it.

“Now, the president says the fence won’t work. I would challenge him to remove the fence from around the White House, if it doesn’t work. Fences work. It works in Israel. It would work here.”

Stockman also believes the National Guard should be deployed on the border because, “Right now, the border guards are so busy feeding and taking care of the children, they can’t do their regular responsibilities.”

If the president will neither build the fence nor deport the illegal immigrants, what can Congress do to stem the tide?

Stockman senses the president wants to make a deal.

He said the House won’t agree to the $3.7 billion Obama wants to put the underage immigrants through a long legal process, but it will fund emergency priorities.

“I don’t think House Republicans want to fund a bunch of trial attorneys so they can give contributions to his coffers. The money should be directed at building a wall, completing a wall and helping the children directly, in terms of food and aid.”

He also believes Congress could modify a 2008 law that was designed to protect minors from Central America from falling prey to sex-traffickers by allowing them to stay in the country during a lengthy legal process involving hearings before immigration judges. Stockman said that law, ironically and sadly, has backfired, by luring unaccompanied and unprotected minors onto American streets.

Obama has signaled his willingness to water down the law, but some Democrats are fiercely opposed to a bill designed to do that proposed Monday by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.

Stockman said, it wasn’t really the 2008 law that triggered the sudden flow of minor immigrants; it was Obama’s decision, after Congress refused to pass the DREAM Act, to unilaterally implement the bill’s key provision and not deport minors in the country illegally.

“Look at the numbers,” he said. “As soon a Obama announced the DREAM Act, the numbers shot through the roof.”

Will protests of illegals by U.S. cities make a difference? Sound off in the WND Poll.

Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth

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