July 8th, 2014
08:20 AM ET
8 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.”

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='JimAcostaCNN']

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. bobo

    The 2 Billion should go towards a WALL!

    July 8, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Rosslaw

    Gosh, I sure hope Rick Perry is wearing his "smart" glasses when he meets Obama.

    July 8, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. J.

    The politicians don't want to fix the problem, they want the issue to campaign on. They have no intention of ever doing anything. I don't care if they don't like the other guys, they were sent their to do a job and they refuse to do it.

    July 8, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Tom Bukowski

    So, Rick hasn't responded yet? Can't he figure out how to please his base? Again, a do nothing GOP.

    July 8, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. We Are Doomed

    I see CNN drank the cool aid by now referring to these people as "undocumented immigrants". Although I know they have been doing it for some time, many can officially cross off CNN as having any legitimate journalistic integrity and simply refer to it as the Democratic Party News Network.

    July 8, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Dom

    We need a militarized border with Mexico. Why? Because of illegal immigration today? Maybe not – but what about 25 years from now or 50 years from now ? Do you really think illegal immigration is going to slow down... As the earth warms and the global popluation rises to 8 and then 9 billion people we will see more and more people attempt to "migrate" to the US. This is what drives me crazy about liberals – they don't think long term – EVER! Not about the national debt, not about the population, not about the economy – the only exception is the environment which i agree with them on. We need to shut the border down and take steps to correct the debt crisis now – not wait until it is too late and our country becomes a war zone or third world country.

    July 8, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. tom l

    @the Real TP

    " 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."

    Another "morally superior" comment by you where you try to demonstrate that repubs are bad and dems are good – I'm sure you'll then respond with ME thinking I'm better than you even though in your entire comment you comment on how morally superior the dems are and how awful repubs are.

    I'd like you to find one prominent repub or politician that has said they don't want people to emigrate here legally. One. And since we learned our lesson of amnesty in the 80's in which there was an agreement and no follow through, perhaps we don't want to talk about further about it until we stop more from coming in which makes complete sense (fool me once....). We supposedly had funding an agreement on the border fence. What has happened there? Nothing. So you can try an demagogue as much as you want but the fact is that you are making things up about legal vs illegal immigration and you won't acknowledge the fact that we have fix situation first. And can we please grow up and stop the "the right is just mad blah blah blah" or some silly comment like that? All you are doing is making it worse and since you are so focused on "solutions" perhaps that childish meme can take a back seat and you can tell me what solutions you have.

    For me, it's simple. Allow all that are here to stay and make them register with the govt. Build a fence that will truly stop the flow of illegal immigrants here (because that is obviously a problem) and then go to the next step but we can't go any further until we take care of the status of people here and stop more from coming in.

    July 8, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. Person

    Why in the world would an invitation to meet and discuss the situation "increase the political sparring?" It should decrease the sparring–unless Perry is more interested in sparring than in solutions. The same goes for the huffing and puffing about Obama not visiting the border. Politicians need to spend their time meeting and working out solutions, not parading around on junkets. Once again, the Right is engaging in sandbagging the President rather than governing.

    July 8, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. Antonio Paravati

    Not only is this POTUS unable to fix the nation's problems, he's creating them. This immigration "crisis" rests squarely on his shoulders. He is ineffectual, incompetent, unprepared and is supremely, unqualified. Add his arrogance on always thinking he's right, and that's a recipe for a disastrous administration.

    July 8, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. ?!?wut?!?

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

    Nothing like hitting the nail squarely on the head. Everybody knows that, and if they don't, they're dead.

    July 8, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. It's obvious

    Wow, this oughta be fun. Obama and Perry squaring off for an intellectual duel. On the other hand, Obama will be dealing with an unarmed opponent.

    July 8, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. g

    why should American tax payers pay, go after central and south American governments ,including Mexico to pay.or shut down trade and sanction them

    July 8, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. Mary

    Maybe we should think about taking care of our poor here before we take in the poor from anther country. Maybe we should help the thousands and thousands of childeren that go to bed hungery every night, have no warm place to sleep. Maybe we should be converting the schools For the poor kids of the USA. How do you think they feel when they see these kids brought across the boarder, that come into our country illegaly and they are given everything. Here you go, you want more food, here is a home for you to sleep in. Yet the poor kids of AMERICA are given nothing. They are the forgotten kids that no one cares about. I am tired of going to the market and someone in line is dressed better than me, and has all the hip stuff, and then goes and gets in a brand new car. I am paying for all that with my tax payer dollars. After paying all that, I am left with buying weiners and beans and driving home in my cluncker. For them to say these are the people that clean our homes and pick the veggies from our fields. Thats an insult. First i can't afford to pay someone to clean my home and the pickers, they have been here for years and are hard workers. These people coming across the boards, are Obama and Jarrett's puppets. If they are so concerned about them take them ALL to DC and set up homes for them in their town. UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    July 8, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. bones1918

    I'm pretty sure he meant Katy Perry.

    July 8, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. SAW

    These people are so corrupt to the core. Shame on the people of South America who are sneding their precious children alone to some country they probably know nothing about. Shame on our government for allowing them to stay. We can't take care of our own people. Why would these people think we could take care of their children. Shame. These children are dispensable in the eyes of their parents. Shame. SOMEONE is funding this. These people did not walk from Honduras, etc., to this country. WHO? Stop all welfare and they will dry up fast.

    July 8, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. tacpilot

    President Obama plans to ask Congress on Tuesday for billions in emergency funding to deal with the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, but reportedly is holding off for now on seeking legal changes to speed up the deportation process for illegal immigrant children.

    US Taxpayers are paying to:
    1. House and feed these illegal’s
    2. Provide medical attention to these illegal’s
    3. Transport illegal’s from border areas interior states
    4. Turn military bases into public housing authorities
    5. Paying border guards to babysit instead of stopping illegal drugs crossing the border

    Yes, I feel sorry for the children coming from South America… but I am more concerned about our American Children… We should be spending billions on them on not on illegal’s. When the illegal’s enter our school system, which they will, our children will be infected by the diseases we eradicated in the US years ago.

    If the children come in, then the President and Democrats will say we can break up family’s,,, need to bring in and pay for the parents….. Never ending cycle……

    President Obama said our border was secure… so secure a 10 year child can cross it… Blame the Right for Obama’s continued lies…..

    July 8, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. 101 Wild Turkey

    While they are at it they might want to take up the subject of the 16 people killed and 66 wounded in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend.

    July 8, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. alohajonny

    I love how progressives can or will not see the damage Obama has done and will continue to do to this country. How many ACA laws did he do work around's on? Hypocrites that are ok with tens of thousands of infected illegals settling in a town near you.

    July 8, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Anonymous

    illegal is illegal period. do it the right way as other people have.there are too many broken systems in place for the typical american citizen.

    July 8, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. sedwards50

    "an offer to greet Obama on the tarmac" and "discuss the situation on the border with faith leaders and local elected officials in Dallas" (400 miles from the border) sound like invitations to a photo-op, not genuine concern in solving the issue Obama has created by holding up the 'Welcome mat' over the last 6 years by selectively refusing to enforce the law and legitimizing the presence of illegals through DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

    July 8, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Sip That Kool Aid, It's All You're Good For.

    Perry, needs to shut the hell up. He's more bother than he's worth. His chances of being a resident of the White House have never been more remote.

    July 8, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Linda

    The US government should send a bill to their home countries for every dollar we have to spend housing and feeding them.... and the cost of sending back to their home countries. Those governments are to blame for this happening.

    July 8, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. Anonymous

    To ask and be granted additional money for a program that is grossly over funded and miss managed is like giving a gambling addict more money to gamble with. The border program needs a full audit and restructured. Its not about the money, its above the waste.

    July 8, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. sonny chapman

    Repubs. are hoping, praying, that this issue will be Obama's "Katrina". Isn't that disgusting ? Reminds me of when Stalin closed down the roads to Berlin in 1946. Starve the civilians to win political points.

    July 8, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. sonny chapman

    Fly them back to where they belong ? Why waste the gas ? Just shoot'em !!

    July 8, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7