Governor Perry and President Obama: Difference of Opinion on the Border

On Wednesday, July 9th, President Obama met with Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry to discuss the situation on the border with Mexico. Over the past several weeks illegal immigration over the border has deservingly received increased media attention. Unaccompanied children from various Central American countries have been pouring across the border creating a humanitarian crisis and pushing the limits of what the Border Patrol is capable of. As this crisis has worsened the president has acted aloof even as members of his own party have tried to stress the importance of the situation. While the president described the meeting with Perry as being “constructive,” Perry claims that the president isn’t serious about securing the border. In all honesty, Perry is absolutely right.


The original reason for Obama's trip to Texas for two days was not related to the immigration issue but for fundraising. Obama had intended to meet with Perry and by meet I mean a quick hand-shake photo opportunity once the president got off Air Force One. Perry quickly rebuffed this, declaring he would be open to nothing less than a substantive meeting with the president. The meeting was granted, whether or not it was substantive is to be debated. Perry claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that Obama is "not interested" in dealing with the influx of immigrant children into the country. That alone provides some insight that for Perry at least, the meeting was less than he had hoped for.

Obama has regarded the situation as a humanitarian crisis but his actions fail to reflect that. His failure to at least visit the border while he was in Texas is shocking while his plan to address the issue is lacking. Obviously there is a problem with how we enforce the border since what we are doing isn't working. Instead of identifying the root problem, Obama has decided that the answer is to spend another $3.7 billion. Throwing more money at the problem isn't the solution. In 2013, money allocated to immigration enforcement exceeded that spent on all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. Money spent has been rising and yet the illegal immigration problem persists. Already the spending proposal is being met with significant backlash from Republicans. Obama had asked Perry to support the spending, a request which Perry has refused to do and is instead lobbying Texas politicians on both sides of the aisle against supporting it.

Republicans feel that the spending proposal is too big and that too little of it is dedicated to border security. Many believe that the president should've at least gone to the border before making such a large spending request. A large portion of the request is to be used to assist in processing the tens of thousands of children who have entered the country. Meanwhile, the proposal does little to stop the flow of children into the country, children who are coming here under the false belief that they will be allowed to stay without fear of deportation.

Republicans want U.S. laws changed so that deportations of Central American children can be sped up. The president is unlikely to support this as he is already facing backlash from the Hispanic community over the record increase in deportations of adults. Several Democratic senators who feel that such changes are negotiable are wary of such political repercussions. Regardless though, Democrats are stepping up to the president. Texas Democrat Reps. Castro, O'Rourke, and Cuellar have all derided Obama for failing to at least visit the border and see firsthand what is occurring. Cuellar whose district is on the border, went so far as to accuse the president of being "detached" on the issue while hitting the president in numerous television interviews. In response the White House has called him several times to stop, calls which Cuellar himself described as "angry."

The issue of illegal immigration over the border with Mexico is nothing new. Now though the problem is worsening and the president seems reluctant to directly address it. When the governor of the state that is dealing with a porous border daily says the president is unconcerned, that should serve as a wake-up call. This goes beyond partisan politics and simple talking points. This is a true humanitarian crisis that the president seems to have only a passing interest in. Rather than be concerned about amnesty for the over million illegal immigrants in the country, address the issue of unaccompanied children being brought over the border by criminal cartels and gangs. Children who've been separated from their parents under false promises. At the least, visit the border and see it first-hand. For a president who spends so much time campaigning and fundraising, a half day trip to the border would at least show he recognizes the concerns of Americans.

Posted by SPBrooker at July 15, 2014 6:10 PM
Comments
Comment #380853

“Republicans want U.S. laws changed so that deportations of Central American children can be sped up. The president is unlikely to support this as he is already facing backlash from the Hispanic community over the record increase in deportations of adults.”

Nonsense! Obama has already made such a proposal. “White House officials noted that part of the White House’s strategy for handling the border crisis included plans to work with Congress to make changes to the law with regards unaccompanied children from non-contiguous countries—changes similar to those proposed by Cornyn and Cuellar Tuesday. See also, http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/obama-s-plan-to-deal-with-unaccompanied-minors-is-aggravating-immigration-advocates-20140711

As for all this talk about securing the borders, it should be pointed out that this issue with the children has nothing to do with securing the borders. These children are not attempting to evade the border patrol but rather are turning themselves into the patrol upon entering the US. They are lawfully seeking asylum under the law that Congress passed unanimously and signed by GW Bush.

Perhaps this was an unintended and unforeseen consequence of the law but it is not a border security issue in the traditional sense. It is a legal breach for which Republicans share blame.

The truth of the matter is that there is little disagreement between the White House and critics such as Governor Perry on policy response. Except, of course, that Obama didn’t visit the border. That’s it. Obama didn’t visit the border.

Posted by: Rich at July 15, 2014 6:42 PM
Comment #380854

I believe it would take a psychiatrist, having access to obama for an extended period of time, to explain his cavalier attitude toward many issues including our border problems. Surely he can’t believe his irrational actions are an image builder.

Many dems on the lower rungs of the economic ladder are questioning his priorities. He seems to flaunt his inability to connect with the working poor and unemployed.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 15, 2014 6:49 PM
Comment #380855

An interesting and data based article that presents the real issues regarding immigration. It isn’t what you think. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/immigration-is-changing-much-more-than-the-immigration-debate/

Posted by: Rich at July 15, 2014 7:11 PM
Comment #380856

Following is some American history that I was not aware of.

“Many have wrongfully tried to build a case that Jefferson’s intent was a wall of separation between God, religion and government, which was not his intent. In fact, church services were regularly held in the capitol building and Jefferson attended those services.

David Barton explains the history of these church services: “Many people are surprised to learn that the United States Capitol regularly served as a church building; a practice that began even before Congress officially moved into the building and lasted until well after the Civil War.

“The cornerstone of the Capitol was laid by President George Washington in 1793, but it was not until the end of 1800 that Congress actually moved into the building. According to the congressional records for late November of 1800, Congress spent the first few weeks organizing the Capitol rooms, committees, locations, etc. Then, on Dec. 4, 1800, Congress approved the use of the Capitol building as a church building.

“The approval of the Capitol for church was given by both the House and the Senate, with House approval being given by Speaker of the House, Theodore Sedgwick, and Senate approval being given by the President of the Senate, Thomas Jefferson. Interestingly, Jefferson’s approval came while he was still officially the vice president but after he had just been elected president.

“Significantly, the Capitol building had been used as a church even for years before it was occupied by Congress. The cornerstone for the Capitol had been laid on September 18, 1793; two years later while still under construction, the July 2, 1795, Federal Orrery newspaper of Boston reported:

“City of Washington, June 19. It is with much pleasure that we discover the rising consequence of our infant city. Public worship is now regularly administered at the Capitol, every Sunday morning, at 11 o’clock by the Reverend Mr. Ralph.”

Many have wrongfully tried to build a case that Jefferson’s intent was a wall of separation between God, religion and government, which was not his intent. In fact, church services were regularly held in the capitol building and Jefferson attended those services.

David Barton explains the history of these church services: “Many people are surprised to learn that the United States Capitol regularly served as a church building; a practice that began even before Congress officially moved into the building and lasted until well after the Civil War.

“The cornerstone of the Capitol was laid by President George Washington in 1793, but it was not until the end of 1800 that Congress actually moved into the building. According to the congressional records for late November of 1800, Congress spent the first few weeks organizing the Capitol rooms, committees, locations, etc. Then, on Dec. 4, 1800, Congress approved the use of the Capitol building as a church building.

“The approval of the Capitol for church was given by both the House and the Senate, with House approval being given by Speaker of the House, Theodore Sedgwick, and Senate approval being given by the President of the Senate, Thomas Jefferson. Interestingly, Jefferson’s approval came while he was still officially the vice president but after he had just been elected president.

“Significantly, the Capitol building had been used as a church even for years before it was occupied by Congress. The cornerstone for the Capitol had been laid on September 18, 1793; two years later while still under construction, the July 2, 1795, Federal Orrery newspaper of Boston reported:

“City of Washington, June 19. It is with much pleasure that we discover the rising consequence of our infant city. Public worship is now regularly administered at the Capitol, every Sunday morning, at 11 o’clock by the Reverend Mr. Ralph.”

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/44657-is-this-the-biggest-deception-in-the-last-100-years

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 15, 2014 7:40 PM
Comment #380857

RF,
David Barton is a historical revisionist. His work is has been thoroughly debunked by numberous sources, both on the left and right, and his books were pulled by his Christian publisher last year.

SP,
Is Obama playing politics? Could be. He is, after all, a politician. Same goes for Perry.

Perry held a news conference and called for the National Guard to intervene and address the immigration problem. A reporter followed up with a few questions. What was the National Guard supposed to do that was not already being done? Perry did not know. OK. Did Perry think they should shoot people? No. But it sounded just so darn good, railing about a crisis and calling for the National Guard!

Rich,
Good comment. There is a lot of hysteria surrounding the issue that reflects poorly on our country and our ideals.

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Posted by: dsryre at July 16, 2014 11:17 AM
Comment #380864

phx8 writes; “David Barton is a historical revisionist.”

That may be true and I won’t argue your contention. However, wikipedia writes;

“Early religious usage

In its early days, the Capitol building was not only used for governmental functions. On Sundays, church services were regularly held there - a practice that continued until after the Civil War. According to the U.S. Library of Congress exhibit “Religion and the Founding of the American Republic” “It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson, (1801–1809) and of 4th President, James Madison, (1809–1817) the state became a church. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the chamber of the House of Representatives. Madison followed Jefferson’s example, although unlike Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, Madison came in a coach and four. Worship services in the House — a practice that continued until after the Civil War — were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared. (Roman Catholic priests began officiating in 1826.)”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Capitol

The Library of Congress writes;

“It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Madison followed Jefferson’s example, although unlike Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, Madison came in a coach and four. Worship services in the House—a practice that continued until after the Civil War—were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared. (Catholic priests began officiating in 1826.) As early as January 1806 a female evangelist, Dorothy Ripley, delivered a camp meeting-style exhortation in the House to Jefferson, Vice President Aaron Burr, and a “crowded audience.” Throughout his administration Jefferson permitted church services in executive branch buildings. The Gospel was also preached in the Supreme Court chambers.

Jefferson’s actions may seem surprising because his attitude toward the relation between religion and government is usually thought to have been embodied in his recommendation that there exist “a wall of separation between church and state.” In that statement, Jefferson was apparently declaring his opposition, as Madison had done in introducing the Bill of Rights, to a “national” religion. In attending church services on public property, Jefferson and Madison consciously and deliberately were offering symbolic support to religion as a prop for republican government.”

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html

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