July 8th, 2014
08:20 AM ET
2 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. BigTex

    Isn't this the same Gov. Perry who turned down 'all" federal funds to help improve the state of Texas. Funny how most Southern(poor)Red states want to still separate themselves form the Union, but cant stand alone on their own. "Leave it to the states" is the rally cry. Now we see what happens when they do...

    July 8, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. S.B. Stein

    I haven't heard what Perry is planning on doing to "secure the boarder." What were his ideas? It would be good for show to have Obama visit the boarder but not really necessary.

    If Congress can approve funding for more immigration judges and other professionals that will deal with the Southern boarder, that would a start. My other suggestion would be fund technology development that could determine the difference between a person's foot steps and the wildlife that lives there. I would include funding for drones that have visual, infrared cameras as well as thermal imaging and microphones to pick up noise from human activity.

    July 8, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Tone

    Wade

    Total pup stunt. Obama never listens to anyone.

    Why should he listen to an unintelligent mistake for a governor Why can't this dolt take care of the problem himself. He need the President to hold his hands? It say a lot about texans voting this guy in as governor,and it's not pretty.

    July 8, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    S Town

    Gov. Rick Perry has every right to be upset with the federal government. The president could send troops to the border and could have done so a long time ago. ... blah ... blah ... blah ....
    --------------------------------
    Riddle me this. How can the president send troops to the border when there is no funding for it? We're under a sequester. Remember? Any action that requires additional financing must be pre-approved by Congress. Gov. Perry could activate units of the Texas National Guard to help out, too.

    July 8, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. InstantBackGroundSniper

    @The Real TRUTH, or whatever you want to call yourself,
    No need to read your koolaid. Glad you responded to mine ; )

    July 8, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Ben Dover

    Why the h3ll does this have to be YET ANOTHER case of political brinkmanship where everyone is more interested in pulling out a ruler to see who's middle leg is longer, rather than getting a serious situation under control??? For pete sakes just meet inside Air Force One and get a discussion going!!

    July 8, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Kings on the back row......

    ..
    ..Sarah Darlin' has advised Mr. Perry on keeping notes on his hand......BOTH SIDES for Rick !!
    ..

    July 8, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Tone

    Judge Judy

    This President flunked.....EVERYTHING!

    Like what? he passed the bar, he is a two term president unemployment rate is down to half as what it was when he took over from the failure in cheif bush, he killed bin laden he stopped one war, he saved the auto industries, he passed healthcare law, and a lot of other accomplishments. Just like the rwnjs make a dumb statement with nothing to back it up.

    July 8, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Anonymous

    This is definitely President Obama's "Katrina." What would the world be saying if all these people were poor blacks? ...
    -------------------------------
    The world wouldn't say a whole lot about it. Anyone remember the Haitian boat people from the 1980s?

    As far as pointing blame goes, the administration is following a law that was extended by Bush in 2008. As far as the border not being secure, i think the fact that they are catching these people speaks volumes against that talking point.

    July 8, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. smith

    @Rudy-So enlighten us to what you would do about chaos at the border? Do you have a solution?

    July 8, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Wynn

    No need to go down to the border and investigate a problem Obama created intentionally. Best thing to do is enjoy the cheap labor and ignore it like we have always done.

    July 8, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Harold Read

    Screw trading 5 terrorists for 1 deserter!!! We are trading the safety, security, well-being, and future for millions of US Citizens for Annesty of 20 million ILLEGAL immigrants.

    July 8, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    @ smith, since your response to any controversial issue is to do nothing, why do you care? Just take the Libertarian way, and stop caring if does not affect you personally. Its very liberating.

    July 8, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. plenty

    Obama should be wary about going to Dallas.

    July 8, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    "I was a stranger & you did/did not welcome me". Jesus Christ, Matthew 25,35.

    July 8, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "I haven't heard what Perry is planning on doing to "secure the boarder." What were his ideas?"

    Pretty much the same ideas you hear from all of the RWNJ Teatroll nativists all day every day, which can be summed up as follows: "target practice."

    July 8, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Sarah Darlin' has advised Mr. Perry on keeping notes on his hand......BOTH SIDES for Rick !!"

    Cowboy Fonzie tried that, buy the couldn't get the crayons to write on his skin.

    July 8, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Obama never listens to anyone."

    Teatroll Rosetta Stone says: "Upjumped, uppity and won't do as he's told."

    July 8, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    plenty says:
    July 8, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm
    Obama should be wary about going to Dallas.

    I agree which is why I don't even want him anywhere near Texas.

    July 8, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. tom l

    "since your response to any controversial issue is to do nothing, why do you care? Just take the Libertarian way, and stop caring if does not affect you personally. Its very liberating"
    =======

    Another comment that doesn't say that you are morally superior, right?

    July 8, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. tom l

    Sniffit

    "Obama never listens to anyone."

    Teatroll Rosetta Stone says: "Upjumped, uppity and won't do as he's told."

    ======

    Fascinating. So when they said this about Bush and that he never admitted to his faults what did Rosetta Stone say then? Your all consuming fascination with race, once again, demonstrates that all you think about is race. It must be depressing...

    July 8, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Miguel

    Be careful when Obama extends his hand. He just came out of the men's room.

    July 8, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Sniffit

    "Obama never listens to anyone."

    Teatroll Rosetta Stone says: "Upjumped, uppity and won't do as he's told."

    ======

    Fascinating. So when they said this about Bush and that he never admitted to his faults what did Rosetta Stone say then? Your all consuming fascination with race, once again, demonstrates that all you think about is race. It must be depressing..."
    ===

    Uh oh...the baby woke up. Someone else wanna rock him? It's not my turn.

    July 8, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Gunderson

    Whazzat?,
    Rivers is wary about Obama going to Dallas? No problem, Rivers, nobody else wants him there either. Why doesn't Obama want to go to the Border? He will awaken from his long sleep and see his Nightmare come true. He won't work with the Congress, why should he work with the Border Patrol. An illegal will soon be living next you helping themselves to your tax dollars.

    July 8, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Bob

    Wow. Obama didn't invite Perry. Perry invited Obama. Keep up the lies CNN!!! You are going....DOWN!

    July 8, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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