President Obama Not Going to Border While Visiting Texas Could Be a "Katrina Moment," Says Dem Rep.
President Obama has a trip planned for Texas this Wednesday and Thursday. He has several fundraisers scheduled as well as speech on economic policy and "at least one" event about the border while spending the two days in Austin and Dallas. Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) rejected an attempt by the Obama team to stage a hand shake photo-op on the tarmac when the president arrives in Austin and instead told the president he could meet him any time to have a "substantive meeting" to talk about border security. The White House said the president would meet with Perry. That meeting won't take place anywhere near the border though, which Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.) told Fox News' Neil Cavuto he hoped wouldn't become Obama's "Katrina moment." Via Fox News:
I'm sure that President Bush thought the same thing, that he could just look at everything from up in the sky, and then he owned it after—for a long time. So, I hope this doesn't become the Katrina moment for President Obama, saying that he doesn't need to come to border.
He should come down. Not only Governor Perry has asked him to come down, but I know my colleagues Filemon Vela and Ruben Hinojosa invited him to come down. And I certainly would ask him to come in, even though I still think he is still one step behind.
But he should come down to the border to see exactly what is happening.
More than 50,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the border illegally since October, three times as many as in 2011, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, as well as Mexico. Some parents believe children who are able to cross the border would be permitted to stay, although by law the children are surrendered to the Department of Health and Human Services, who places them into foster homes while their immigration cases go through court, a legal process that takes years.
Neither are the Central American children legally permitted in Mexico. The United Nations is pressing both countries to treat the children as refugees of armed conflicts in order to grant them asylum, something neither country is doing at the moment. Mexico has tried to control its southern border with Guatemala, far smaller than the U.S. border with Mexico, strictly, not particularly offering any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Last year the U.S. and Mexico talked about U.S. funding for increased border security along the Mexican-Guatemalan border.