July 8th, 2014
08:20 AM ET
5 months ago

Obama invites Perry to meeting on border crisis

Washington (CNN) - The political sparring over the border crisis intensified Tuesday as the White House released a letter accepting Texas Gov. Rick Perry's invitation to President Barack Obama for a meeting on the issue during his trip to Texas Wednesday.

The letter from White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett was in response to Perry's letter to the President, released Monday evening, that turned down an offer to greet Obama on the tarmac when he arrives in Austin, with the suggestion of a more “substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue.”

Obama "asked me to invite you to join him for a meeting to discuss the situation on the border with faith leaders and local elected officials in Dallas on Wednesday,” Jarrett wrote in the letter.

According to a senior administration official, White House officials were in touch with aides to the Texas Governor late Monday in an effort to set up the meeting between the two leaders.

A few hours later the governor's office put out a statement saying that "Gov. Perry is pleased that President Obama has accepted his invitation to discuss the humanitarian and national security crises along our southern border, and he looks forward to meeting with the president tomorrow."

The same official said Obama had previously scheduled his own meeting with faith leaders and local elected officials in Dallas on Wednesday to discuss their plans to convert local schools into temporary housing facilities for some of the unaccompanied minors and other undocumented immigrants who have arrived at the U.S. southwestern border in recent months.

In Jarrett's letter, she also asked Perry for his help in convincing Republicans in Congress to approve the President's request for more than $2 billion in federal funds to add new border patrol agents and immigration judges in the Southwestern region, as well as expanded facilities to hold detained migrants. The president has also asked for expanded legal authority for the Department of Homeland Security to expedite the process of returning the children to their countries of origin.

“As you know, the administration continues to address this urgent humanitarian situation with a whole-of-government response on both sides of the border," Jarrett wrote in the letter. "This includes appropriate care for unaccompanied children, as well as aggressive steps to surge resources to the Southwest border to deter both adults and children from embarking on this dangerous journey, increasing capacity for enforcement and removal proceedings, and quick return of recent unlawful border crossers to their home countries after appropriate humanitarian screenings," she added.

Perry and other top Republican leaders have blasted the President's decision to forgo a trip to the border to eyeball the crisis firsthand.

Jarrett noted in her letter that several top administration officials have visited the region and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.

“DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has traveled to the border on five occasions over the last several weeks; a sixth visit to the region is planned for Friday.”

Even though the President will not stop at the border this week, a senior administration official did not rule out such a visit in the future.

Jarrett also touted the administration’s efforts to work with officials in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, where a stead flow of migrants heading north has overwhelmed facilities along the U.S. border.

“We are also working closely with out Mexican and Central American partners to address the root causes of this problem, stem the flow of migrants to the Unites States, and expand capacity to receive and reintegrate repatriated migrants.”

Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have visited Central America in recent weeks to discourage potential migrants from making the dangerous trip.

At the end of her letter, Jarrett blamed Congressional inaction on comprehensive immigration reform for the current border crisis.

"The humanitarian situation at the border is but the latest example of the great cost of Congressional inaction," she wrote.

 


Filed under: Immigration • President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. DachchundZombie

    "In Jarrett's letter, she also asked Perry for his help in convincing Republicans in Congress to approve the President's request for more than $2 billion in federal funds to add new border patrol agents and immigration judges in the Southwestern region, as well as expanded facilities to hold detained migrants."
    The ONLY money that should be allocated is for planes to fly these invaders directly back to their home countries. Obama says he can't do this because of the law signed in 2008 that requires hearings, etc for other than Mexicans. If he can disregard other laws, as he does, than he can disregard this one.
    These people are not coming here for jobs. They are coming to overwhelm our support system. They want access to 'free' (for them) stuff.

    July 8, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Lets face it. NOTHING Obama does or says will ever satisfy the Right, which is still fuming over getting their butts handed to them in the last 2 Presidential election cycles. To that end, they will scream loudly and do nothing. Their grassroots supporters are not interested in doing anything to help these kids, much less have a dialogue or a policy solution to the problem. They would rather stay angry, while ignoring the fact that Obama has deported more people than any of predecessors, and they want to militarize the border. That is what they really want. No matter the cost, in terms of money or people, they want it closed. They claim they are in favor of legal immigration, but won't even bother addressing details " ...until the border is secure": what will it take to make them believe it is secure? Nothing will satisfy them, so it provides them with a convenient out to not address anything else on immigration. Frankly, they don't want anyone to emigrate here: that much is painfully obvious, since they have nothing on the table regarding what they would do once the border is secure. Nothing. Not a word.

    July 8, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Obama simply wants to APPEAR to be willing to talk..........when we all know he accepts nothing that he personally doesn't want. The man is the most unwilling to negotiate, of any President in U.S. history.

    July 8, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  4. smith

    Lets see if some sort of progress can be made on the border issue. IMO, its way past the time to build a wall and dispatch the National Guard to the border. You gotta plug the hole first on a sinking ship.

    July 8, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    –simply! Deport all illegals. Stop this H1-B, J1 visas too, North Carolina has too many of these law breakers from India too. Deport all visa violators.

    July 8, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Perry and other top Republican leaders have blasted the President's decision to forgo a trip to the border to eyeball the crisis firsthand.
    ------------------------------
    I have no explanation for the decision, and I'm not defending it. Such a trip to the border would naturally create security concerns ranging from a border location to travel routes. Most destinations have been traveled before by past presidents, and the Secret Service is familiar the territory and local security. Bush made a lot of trips to Texas, but not many to the border, if any.

    If adequate security can be arranged, and time in the schedule allows, then there I see no reason not to go. But, having seen what goes into a visit from the POTUS, I can understand the security concerns. There are road blocks setup on a few alternate routes in and out of an area when the POTUS visits NYC. Whenever he flies, there are waiting vehicles at his point of departure, destination, and one or more alternate sites for emergency landings. Now try to put those precautions into the context of a visit to the open country of the border. It really would strain security.

    July 8, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    somebody wrote:

    The ONLY money that should be allocated is for planes to fly these invaders directly back to their home countries. Obama says he can't do this because of the law signed in 2008 that requires hearings, etc for other than Mexicans. If he can disregard other laws, as he does, than he can disregard this one.
    These people are not coming here for jobs. They are coming to overwhelm our support system. They want access to 'free' (for them) stuff.
    ---------------------------------
    It's my understanding that the law is older than that. Bush signed a modification in 2008 to an existing law, which he had previously signed a few years earlier. If the law is such a bad thing, then why was the law signed in the first place?

    July 8, 2014 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. Dianne in FL

    Real Tom Paine, Well Said!

    July 8, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  9. obot

    perry tells the disgrace obama to just go back on vacation!thats what your good at!!!

    July 8, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. KeninTexas

    Obama has no problem ignoring laws when it suits his political purposes yet claims a 2008 law prevents him from deporting these illegals that are sneaking in from Central America. I wish he were so ardent in enforcing all of the laws of the country, as he swore he would instead of violating the laws that he finds "politically inconvenient". He is supposed to be the president of the United States, not the world.

    July 8, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Dina

    With "faith leaders?" Seriously? What a pandering sap Perry is.

    July 8, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Brian

    Here is the easiest way to make the border secure, Tom. Put up a fence and send those you catch back where they ca.e from. Right now we are housing people and feeding them. What that shows others is that they are correct that we will help them. If they were put on planes and sent back the next day it would show that we were serious. This issue has nothing to do with Dems or the GOP. Neither side is willing to throw them out, one side wants voters and another wants cheap labor.

    July 8, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. RJ

    The president is the president of all americans. Gov Perry has requested assistance from the president for a few years now and the president will not discuss the issue, until now? I think the media pressure has pushed the president to stop from his fund raising and address an issue he is trying to avoid. Is the right ever satisfied? Maybe if the president understood he works for all americans, people on the right would not be disappointed. Stop making excuses and blaming people (those on the right) and work together to build a better america. Bill Clinton did.

    July 8, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Of course he turned down meeting the POTUS on the Tarmac, Perry may be a fool but he's not that stupid. He saw what happened to Crispy for showing President Obama a modicum of well deserved respect. Don't worry Rick, you'll never make it to the WH, unless there's Rodeo Day.

    Be safe Mr. President and know these people hate you to your soul and nothing you do will ever be right.

    July 8, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. ShovellyJoe

    It blows my mind that Republicans can oppose beefing up the border patrol.

    July 8, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  16. Lizzie

    Maybe the money spent in the Central America countries on TV ads would be more wisely spent on RADIO messages, or do all those poor people have TV's in their houses.

    July 8, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. Jim Bob Sweeney

    Nothing that either side says or does will please the other or solve this or any other problem that faces this country.
    When was there ever a time when one party would rather see the country go down in flames than work across party lines?

    July 8, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. Paul Brinkman

    Perry asked for this meeting last week. Obama chose to go to fund raiser. You can spout your venom toward the right all you want. The reality is this president does not know how to lead., The article presents this topic as if it was Obama's idea for the meeting. Perry requested it weeks ago and as early as last week requested the meeting again.

    July 8, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  19. jhag39

    If they meet, it should be at the border, or at Lackland AFB, where Obama can see the mayhem first hand

    July 8, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. J

    U right ,look at us and world today ,it's a mass that why he needs to go.

    July 8, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. Texan

    The federal government, under both Dems and Repubs, have allowed illegal immigration for decades. Texas Republicans have been in power in the state since 1995. To act like this is President Obama's fault is utterly RIDICULOUS. Perry is a typical grandstanding career-politician. Can't wait until he wanders off into oblivion!

    July 8, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. mkuske

    “We are also working closely with out Mexican and Central American partners to address the root causes of this problem..."

    This is just lip service. It's fairly obvious the root cause of the problem is that Obama signaled two years ago that - contrary to law - he will find a way around deporting minor illegal aliens. Since then the flow of unaccompanied minors across the border has steadily increased, now to crisis proportion.

    The Obama administration can try to blame the violence in Central America to avoid their own accountability. The reality is, though, that nothing has really changed in that regard over the past few years. Central America was every bit as violent before this surge of illegal persons. What's changed is that Obama's "Dream Act" executive order was implemented.

    Obama and the Dems are solely responsible for this and yet they are doubling down on this ill-conceived policy. Nancy Pelosi is saying this isn't a crisis, it's an "opportunity". And by not asking Congress for the power to expedite deportations, Obama is signalling to others yet to come that they will be able to stay if they come.

    July 8, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. R.D. Iden

    The headline itself is a spin to make Obama look good...AGAIN. No way Obama wanted to meet with Perry until the pressure mounted. Says it in the first line of the article where it states Obama accepted Perry's invitation. You lemmings that follow this idiot are unbelievable.

    July 8, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. LongAwaited

    The Real Tom Paine–that is absolute truth. The Republicans have done Nothing but block every single thing Obama has tried to do, and most of the time, they provide no other alternative....they simply don't want to do whatever it is that Obama wants to do.

    July 8, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. cjb

    Obama has no interest in doing anything substantive to resolve the illegal alien problem. It is directly due to Obama's policies that we have this crisis now. Obama is guilty of human trafficking. No money should be given to these illegals except for a hot meal and a bus pass home. They are here to suck our resources from our children who go to bed hungry.

    July 8, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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