July 8th, 2014
08:20 AM ET
9 years 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.”

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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. Joe NYer

    If the Anointed One can move mountains-then he can build a wall. It's the only way to keep out the future riff raff invading our country.

    July 8, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. mario

    So, there is a border problem in Texas/California, that has been around since the days of Jesus Christ, numerous Presidents has presided in the White House, China built a wall over 8,000 miles long, over 20 feet high, put up garrisons, installed soldiers, alarm and warning systems, they maintained the wall over centuries to keep the invaders out, protect the liberty and economy of it's people. Why the hell is it all on Obama?? where is the senate and Congress on this issue?? votes, anyone wanting to keep the influx of Mexicans should be tossed back into Mexico, the country is being held ransom..... Mexico will own Texas, Arizona, and California without firing a single shot..... Americans are to blame, while you're arguing over a few seats in government the security of the country is falling to bits, deploying soldiers to the middle east instead of the border is Ludacris ......

    July 8, 2014 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  3. Doug J.

    A law was passed during the Bush administration requiring that unaccompanied minors entering the country be given a hearing before being deported. Since the GOP doesn't seem to like the law any longer, are they OK with Obama ignoring it?

    July 8, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  4. tom l

    Tom L posted:

    I know it's very hard for you to fathom the idea of not being 100% liberal or 100% conservative. I know you must be all of one or all of the other and if you're not 100% liberal then in your eyes I am a right winger. I can understand you thinking that way as it's obvious that as a right winger I would hold positions such as pro choice, pro gay marriage, against the patriot act an against Iraq and Afghanistan. It makes total sense that every right winger holds those opinions. One day Rudy you will see how fat left you are and how far from being a moderate you are. But keep living in your fantasy world of all dems good and all repubs bad. It seems like it works well for you on the ticker as you are in good company which just make you feel all warm and cozy inside.
    [Flame ON]
    You'd be surprised at just how moderate my views really are. Anyone who supports Rand Paul's made over brand of libertarianism is a hard line, far right wing extremist. Your broad stereotypes that you paint cast you as a hamster, running on his little hamster wheel, in his little hamster cage, which the right wing media has built for him. Sorry, you can argue until you turn blue in the face. It's not going to change the fact that your neck is red, son.
    [Flame OFF
    I want to thank you for this comment/reply for just plain saying everything about you so very succinctly. This response says more about you than I could ever say and I appreciate it so much. I can only add a few minor things (as you know it's in my nature)
    – you are not moderate. you should embrace your liberalism more. I don't know who you're kidding but for some reason you are trying to come off as something you are not. You are far, far from moderate, and that's ok. Just embrace it
    -I do not agree with everything that Rand Paul says. I certainly would disagree with your mischaracterization of him and my views on him but I think I can sum it up best with my own words. There are issues that I don't agree with Rand Paul on and there are, actually, some that I do agree with him on. I can't say that about many politicians but he is one that I can say that about.
    -When you say something like my "neck is red, son" you are the one that is, indeed, stereotyping (not to mention name calling AND if you had called another member of the gang – ol yeller – the term "son", violence might have been threatened upon VIA the internet)

    - well said smith, by the way. did you notice that he through out the "fox" reference at me in his reply?? 🙂

    July 8, 2014 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  5. Chris Hancock

    What's proposed by the Obama administration is a band-aid. The problem must also be addressed at its roots, otherwise it’s all a wasted effort. Remove the motivation to come to the USA and the false conception that we hold here in the USA the solution to the problems in Central America. Imagine what could be done with $3.7 billion to improve living conditions and opportunities in home countries of these migrants. Even one tenth of that investment ($370 million) could pay for schools, medical care, law enforcement, economic development. Why should we invest our tax dollars on foreign soil, you might ask? Well, we spend billions on humanitarian causes all around the globe many with only remote or no measureable impact on our live here at home. Here is a case of a humanitarian crisis on our soil. No one is talking about Mexico??? Mexico has to be part of the solution. As it is today, Mexico is aiding the migrants make their passage safely through to the northern border. Is the USA working with Mexico to change this policy??? Yesterday, Mexico and Guatemala announced a new initiative to improve conditions along their border (the Mexican states of Chiapas, Campeche and Quintana Roo). The “Southern Border Program” encompasses immigration and trade reform, improved security and infrastructure, and economic development initiatives. They could be on the right tract, but part of this program is referred to as “Paso Seguro” Safe Passage – that means to the USA. Who was representing the US interest in this deal. Were we even invited to the negotiations. A broader solution is required, We’re not going to solve this problem on the Texas border.

    July 9, 2014 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  6. anthony

    I dont know what the hell with him. He already came to texas so why not to border town to see his own eyes. He keeps depend on his advisors o his cabinets who were messing up before such as nsa, veteran. No wonder he is always clueless to all the problems

    July 9, 2014 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. anthony

    The whitehouse keeps blaming the house for not passing the bill from senate . It is so funny. The unwelcome imigrants misunderstood what the president did through his executive order . Because whenever he did something he never thought the bad side , he only did what he want s and now we have to pay the price including the illegals. Im an imigrant too , i understand why they left their countries .

    July 9, 2014 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  8. Rudy NYC


    @Rudy-The videos show how EASY it it to cross the border. They do it everyday and will continue to do it until we build a wall. We tax alcohol, tobacco, and pot to pay for it. This also will provide jobs for the border states and will cut down on the drug trade.
    We won't solve the problem until we build a wall? We already have a wall in many places, and yet you claim that people simply climb over it. You're living in a fantasy dream world, not reality. If I do "A", then "B" will happen. Why should it? Because that is what I believe? I base my decision in reality, not belief systems, not ideology, but reality and facts.

    I haven't accused you or tom of being Republican or Democratic. Tom is a Rand Paul extremist. Rand Paul's record speaks for itself. From his views on the Civil Rights Act to the racists that have been discovered among his top advisers.

    July 9, 2014 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
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