Perry urges Obama, Congress to work together on border security
July 3rd, 2014
04:55 PM ET
7 years ago

Perry urges Obama, Congress to work together on border security

(CNN) – Unlike some of his fellow Republicans, Texas Gov. Rick Perry declined to place direct blame on President Barack Obama for the recent influx of children illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the United States.

Perry was given multiple opportunities at a congressional hearing Thursday in Texas to fault the Obama administration for what the White House and Republicans are calling a "humanitarian crisis."

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And while Perry criticized the administration for failing to secure the border in general, he said he was looking for "solutions," not to find fault in the latest series of events involving minors.

"I'm tired of pointing fingers and blaming people," he said at the hearing, which was hosted by the House Homeland Security Committee and held near the border in McAllen, Texas. "I hope what we can do is come up with some solutions here."

Showdown over immigration: 'This is an invasion'

However, he urged the President to send a clear signal that people cannot cross the border without consequence or else there "will be a deluge."

Perry, who's considering a second run for president, also called on members of Congress to work with Obama.

"The President has bypassed Congress–and maybe he could and should, I don't know, I'm not going to wade in–but this is the one time that I really think the President does need all of you, Democrats and Republicans alike, to be working with you and reaching out," he said.

"I hope that all of us will share with the President that we're willing to sit down with him and work with him," he continued.

The outgoing governor was also not shy in calling on the President to visit the border and do more to secure the U.S.-Mexico line. And he pushed back against those who argue that the children who crossed the border illegally should be allowed to stay.

"Nobody is doing any of these children the slightest favor by delaying a rapid return to their countries of origin," he said. "Allowing them to remain here will only encourage the next group of individuals to undertake this very, very dangerous and life threatening journey."

The Obama administration has accused syndicates in Latin America of waging a deliberate campaign of misinformation that has spurred people in poor Central American countries and Mexico to risk their lives to cross the border illegally.

While he said he "readily" welcomes the $2 billion in emergency funds for the border that Obama announced earlier this week, the governor asked that Texas be reimbursed for more than $500 million that the state has spent on border security over the past decade.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, this year's GOP nominee for governor, told the conservative news outlet Breitbart that he's thinking about suing the federal government to get back money the state has spent on the recent crisis involving children. Authorities estimate 60,000 to 80,000 children without parents will cross the border this year.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday "it's hard to take seriously Governor Perry's concerns" when his Republican colleagues in the U.S. House have failed to pass bipartisan immigration reform like the Senate did last year.

"I think the most effective way that Gov. Perry can help, if that's what he wants to do, would be to pick up the phone and call the Republican members of the House of Representatives that represent the state of Texas and tell them to support the bipartisan proposal to reform our immigration system that passed through the Senate," he said.

Last month, the Obama administration unveiled a plan to spend almost $100 million in aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to help reintegrate the undocumented migrants whom the United States will deport, and to help keep them in their home countries.

The administration also will set aside $161.5 million this year for the Central American Regional Security Initiative programs in an effort to "help stem migration flows as well as address the root cause of the migration," the White House said.

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soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Hairy reed


    Meanwhile: Unemployment is below the level of September 2008; the economy created 255,000 jobs this last month; the Market has broken the 17,000 barrier- all without one single bit of help from the GOP. President Obama has still sent more illegal aliens home than any other President, and still has the largest Border Patrol at any time in American History. The GOP meanwhile- well, it's lost it's mind.
    Meanwhile, we have the lowest employed rate since carter, govt keeps propping up the market and obama still is considered the worst president since WW2. The DNC, well as Wes would say: a disaster.

    July 3, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. Trading5BadGuysForADeserter

    For every 1 proposal to properly secure the border, Obama wants to tag 10 ways for ILLEGAL immigrants to get get Amnesty.

    Secure the Border
    Deport existing illegal immigrants
    Pass eVerify and fine violators

    Obama is looking to help illegal immigrants and is more than happy to betray every US Citizen and every LEGAL US Immigrant.

    July 3, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. DemsRule

    Democrats: we must reward all law breakers!!!
    Illegally cross the US Border? Here is Amnesty, tax-paid food stamps, tax-paid healthcare, and tax-paid education.

    Broke into someone's house as a "undocumented houseguest"? Take anything you want! The house owner will pay for your food, healthcare, and education.

    July 3, 2014 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. lanson

    Rick Perry has disrespected the president– now he wants to play nice. Too funny!!

    July 3, 2014 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Maybe they'd have a better chance at working together if many on the bitter than alum right would give up their desire to make party politics the issue on a daily basis. But that wont fly. We didn't make the White House our own in the last election, so to hell with the people. We've got our feelings hurt.

    July 3, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. anthony

    While governor Perry urged the president &Congress working togetter to find a solution, the first thing came out from Whitehouse is blame the other side. How can you want to work with them while you keep blaming them? I dont know this president knows what it means'working together'

    July 3, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. belinda

    Now, if only Rick Perry, would reconsider, expanding medicaid and prevent almost 4,500 deaths of men, women and children, in the state of Texas, every year. While we still pay Millions in taxes, for medicaid, in other red states. Lacks common sense and humanity.

    July 3, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  8. Gunderson

    Obama work with anybody?
    When did Obama ever work with the congress? Not that I can tell. I watched a young mother being interviewed after the bus incident in that California town. she didn't look in too bad a shape to me. In fact she was dressed rather well. Sorry but I take the King Solomon approach here. Send them all back immediately if not sooner. I demand they build a giant processing center in Central America where they can ship all of them to processed back to their home country.

    But guess what is going to happen? The liberals are shipping them all over the country where they will disappear into the woodwork and attach themselves to the welfare system paid for by the Tax Payer! None will be deported!

    July 3, 2014 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    When the president of the US refuses to enforce the laws concerning our borders and there is a wholesale invasion by millions of illegals aliens , the overload gets dangerous and very expensive. The four border states are overloaded and the lefts sheds tears for the invaders. SHUT DOWN the border, then have a conversation about 'reform'.

    July 3, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. Larry L

    A high-tech ID card that accepts many forms of data is the solution. If that card is required for all financial transactions the incentive for illegal immigration disappears. The rest of the solution is a path to citizenship that requires work and sacrifice, but is achievable. As Americans we turned a blind-eye to immigration so we could enjoy the cheap labor pool. Now we need to participate in a humane and mature governing process to solve the problem we helped cause.

    July 3, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  11. J Anthony

    @Trooth: i guess Reagan's granting amnesty in the 80s had nothing to do with getting this ball rolling,,, of course not, nothing was a problem until Obama bacame president. Meanwhile not a single realistic suggestion from you people, just "shoot them all", or "send them back".. Simple-minded babble from simpletons. I wish the problem were not more complicated, but it is..

    July 3, 2014 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |

    "It was great to see the citizens of Murrieta CA STOP the importation of busloads of these illegal immigrants into their community."

    But, they sure were clamoring for those jobs and Federal money that would come to the town when the immigration centers were wooed and won, to which the buses were enroute to! The buses were detoured to San Diego out of fear for the safety of the folks on the bus, at the hands of vigilantes, now railing against the very thing they asked to have brought to their town.

    Keep watching Fox Fables, and fables will be all you get!

    July 3, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  13. TxGran

    Well, Gov. Perry, what in the world has gotten into you; I thought you loved to point fingers and blame the president. But, whatever, I'm glad you "might be acting like a grownup."

    July 3, 2014 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. J.V.Hodgson

    Which President spent $billions on border fences and increased border patrol agent by thousands and has deported more illegals than any other president got the senate to pass an immigration bill which House simply sits on has refused point blank to even bri9ng it to the floor for a vote.
    Now its Obama's fault for the kids illegally crossing into US... he has said he will send them back but it will take time as current immigration law allows them a legal asylum hearing.
    Ranting T partiers should get to know current immigration law ( not the Obama version) is part of the problem and in general terms the numbers crossing illegally is down.

    July 3, 2014 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  15. Marcus (from...?)

    rs – I agree with what you said but, Ecuador is in South America, not Central America.

    About Time People Stand Up – So the best way to act against a law you disagree with is to do your best that the law is not enforced in any way (and add some public humiliation of children in mix as well)?
    OK, I don't like that law so if you try to enforce it near me YOU"LL BE SO SORRY!!!! (yelling in a megafone the last bit)
    That's how you want the USA to work... NOT.

    July 4, 2014 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  16. Lenny Pincus

    Did Hoss take off his glasses?

    July 4, 2014 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  17. just me

    Perry can kiss his nomination hopes goodbye again. Work with the President? actually do something? Apostasy!!

    July 4, 2014 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  18. Sandra Levy

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that there is no border, in any part of the world, wherein illegals are allowed to cross into a country without proper documentation.
    Only the baffoons, the legislative traitors and the enemies of the USA AKA TRAITORS have the audacity to breech the sovereignty of the rule of law!!!!!

    July 4, 2014 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  19. kols

    Perry is actually making some sense here. The truth is neither party has been willing to do sensible immigration reform because they can use illegal immigration as a wedge issue. Something should have been done long before Obama took office. As nearly as I can tell, the bill that is on the table (yet not brought up for a vote) will give the illegals legal status by issuing green cards. I say no dice.
    As far as these kids, if they are reunited with parents already here illegally the entire family should be deported.

    July 4, 2014 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  20. Greg

    "I'm tired of pointing fingers and blaming people," I can't remember how many fingers I have.

    July 4, 2014 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  21. Greg

    Okay, it sounds normal. What's he hiding?

    July 4, 2014 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  22. Independent

    So...the Republican governor of Texas – considered a far right nut for years but NOW seems almost moderate compared to run-of-the-mill Republicans (!) – outright said the President should bypass the do-nothing Republican Congress. WHOWOULDATHOUGHT!?

    July 4, 2014 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  23. Texas77562

    What makes me so mad is that the immigration laws are not broken at all. They don't need no fix they need to be ENFORCED. I am a LEGAL immigrant and it only takes 2 years to become legal in this country. That time is needed to background check you. They will scan your eye iris and finger print you and make sure you are not some kind of criminal. That time is also to make sure you will not take a job from an American worker. That time is for them to see what you can bring to this country; knowledge, investment, ect...... what is wrong with that!!!! Why do you think those illegal aliens living here more then 2 years have not even tried to get their legal status. 2 reasons: 1. they have a criminal background and will not be accepted, 2. they have no intention of become Americans and paying taxes they want everything for free. In either case this is not what USA needs. A country without border is no more a country but a land to grab and this is what is happening to this country now. I came here with high hopes, USA was for me the country where one individual could become successful when working hard. In the 8 years I have been here I have seen this country going down and changing at the speed of light. This is very sad. This was a beautiful country ... not anymore. As for these illegal aliens I am surrounded by them and they don't want their citizenship, they don't want to pay tax all they want is the free stuff.... I am totally disgusted how bad these people are.

    July 4, 2014 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  24. ronvan

    While I agree with Perry's statement, "TALK IS CHEAP"1 Just how long is it going to take for OUR "elected misfits" to actually do anything? And POTUS sending 100 Million to these countries involved in NOT the answer! WE, the USA, could stop this immediately if OUR gutless leaders would act! Put OUR military along every inch of the border! Give them "detention powers" and shoot to kill ONLY if fired upon! Support units can provide TENTS, for health & comfort, medical aid, etc.! Detainees have picture, fingerprints & DNA taken! Get these kids cleaned up, fed, and then turn over to Border Patrol who would put them on a bus and take them to nearest checkpoint! IF Mexico refuses to allow them in then ALL aid is stopped immediately! Border is closed! Mexico can return them to their homes and if not Mexico then they can bus them to their southern border! IF that country refuses then aid stops and Mexico closes that border! I know these are tough decisions BUT WE did not BRING these children here! IT IS NOT OUR FAULT! To do NOTHING WILL only create a greater problem!

    July 4, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  25. TSB8C

    Keep in mind that while Obama blames Congress for this, his announcement in 2011 that unaccompanied minors would not be shipped back opened the flood gates. And he tied his own hands when the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act was passed by Congress (Obama, Hillary, Biden, etc) in 2008. This law requires the Border Patrol to take child migrants who aren't from Mexico into custody, screen them, and transfer them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (a part of the Department of Health and Human Services) rather than send them back to their home countries.

    July 4, 2014 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
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