News / USA

Obama Visits Texas, but Not Mexican Border

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement on the border crisis after his meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry (not seen) in Dallas, July 9, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement on the border crisis after his meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry (not seen) in Dallas, July 9, 2014.
Greg Flakus

President Barack Obama flew to Dallas, Texas, Wednesday and met with Governor Rick Perry as well as members of faith-based groups who are providing humanitarian aid to child immigrants on the state's border with Mexico. The president rejected criticism from various corners that he had not included a stop at the border while in Texas and urged Congress to provide the funds needed to deal with the recent surge in illegal immigration.

Obama arrived in Texas at a time when Republicans in Congress and even some members of his own party, the Democrats, have been urging him to visit the Mexican border. In recent months the Texas border has been overrun by tens of thousands of immigrants from Central America, many of them children.  
 
The president rejected a personal visit to the border as "a photo op" and said officials from his administration have made numerous trips there and have already assessed the situation and know what needs to be done.
 
"Those who say I should visit the border, when you ask them what I should be doing, they are giving us suggestions that are embodied in legislation that I already send to Congress," he said.
 

White House Request to Fund Immigration Crisis

  • Efforts by Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, Health and Human Services
  • Increased detainment and removal of adults with children and increased immigration court capacity to speed cases
  • Enhanced interdiction and prosecution of criminal networks, increased surveillance, and expanded law enforcement efforts
  • Improved repatriation and reintegration, stepped-up public information campaigns, and efforts to address the root causes of migration
  • Increased detainment, care, and transportation of unaccompanied children

Source: White House

The supplemental bill the president sent to Congress seeks $3.7 billion  in emergency funds for detention centers, more judges to expedite the return of immigrants with no legitimate claim for refugee status and enhanced border enforcement.
 
But critics, like Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, have insisted they will not act on the request until the president goes to the border.
 
"Only then, I believe, will he be ready and will we be ready to sit down and work together through this request the president has sent us and figure out how we can solve the problem," Cornyn said.
 
During his meeting with Governor Rick Perry, also a Republican and a possible candidate for his party's presidential nomination in 2016,  Obama said he basically agreed with all the concerns raised by the governor. He said the solutions would be provided if Congress would pass the request for additional funding, adding that he asked the governor to use his influence with the Texas delegation to get the supplemental request passed quickly.
 
"Another way of putting it, and I said this directly to the governor, is 'are folks more interested in politics or are they interested in solving the problem?' If they are interested in solving the problem, then this can be solved. If the preference is for politics, then it won't be solved," he said.
 
In recent comments, Governor Perry has suggested that the president has deliberately allowed the crisis on the border to grow for political purposes. But the comprehensive immigration reform the president favors has been stalled in Congress partly because of the current problem. The president and other supporters of the legislation say the reform would help prevent the kind of influx that has occurred over the last several months.
 
Skeptics, however, say the surge in immigration from Central America has been influenced by the perception that the United States is softening its immigration enforcement and a false rumor that U.S. Border Patrol agents would give immediate asylum to any child crossing the border.
 
But Obama administration officials, as well as independent observers in Central America, say poverty and fear of violence from drug gangs has driven many parents to send their children north to seek safety.  President Obama has sent Vice President Joe Biden and other officials to Central America to discuss ways of addressing the problem at its source.

WATCH: Related video story by Zlatica Hoke

Obama: Ready to Work on Immigration Crisisi
X
July 10, 2014 4:20 AM
President Barack Obama says his administration is ready to work on resolving the current immigration crisis, but that a long-term solution will have to include helping Central American countries curb crime and poverty that push their people to take desperate measures. Obama spoke in Texas, at a time when the southern U.S. state is grappling with a growing immigration crisis on its border with Mexico. Zlatica Hoke reports.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Galactus from: USA
July 10, 2014 8:07 AM
Without a change in the law for faster deportation and a change in immigration policy by President Obama, no amount of Billions of dollars will fix this problem We are wasting 4 Billion dollars because President Obama wants to give Amnesty to illegal aliens living in the United States and encourage more illegal immigration.

by: john w burns from: america
July 10, 2014 7:54 AM
not one word mentioned about mexico's compliance in this mess. just drop the kids off at the embassies and let them handle and feed these people.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More