Barack Obama calls them a “humanitarian crisis.” Nancy Pelosi calls them an “opportunity.”An angry crowd in El Centro, California says we should “Send them back.” Rick Perry agrees and further ratchets up the rhetoric by calling on President Barack Obama to come see the “humanitarian crisis” firsthand if he’s really all that concerned about the young illegal immigrants.
According to an AP report, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom many see as a potential Republican presidential candidate for 2016, had this to say about Barack Obama’s concern for crowds of illegal immigrant children – most of them from Central America – who are crossing the border into Texas in droves with little or no attempt to stem the tide by the executive branch of the federal government charged with upholding and enforcing legitimate U.S. laws on immigration (and all other legitimate U.S. laws, for that matter):
“If he (Barack Obama) doesn’t come to the border, I think it’s a real reflection of his lack of concern of what’s really going on there.”
A Politico report further quotes Gov. Perry:
“If the President of the United States is really serious about securing that border, we can show him how to do that. But I haven’t even had a phone call from this president.”
Governor Perry’s suggestion comes at a time when the president is in the state holding fundraisers. The call for the president to come see the humanitarian crisis for himself is echoed by Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, who suggested that the humanitarian crisis is a crisis of Barack Obama’s own making.
For their part, President Barack Obama’s White house has accused Gov. Rick Perry and Republicans of playing politics with the masses of young illegal immigrants.
For his part, Gov. Perry has made it clear that he believes the state of Texas should not be shouldering the burden of dealing with the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border unchecked. In addition to pointing out that the U.S.-Mexico border is less secure than it has ever been in modern times, Gov. Perry believes that a strong message should be sent to those who are trying to cross into the United States illegally.
USA Today quotes Rick Perry saying:
“Allowing them to remain here will only encourage the next group of individuals to undertake this dangerous and life-threatening journey here… The power of boots on the ground cannot be overstated. The message needs to be not, ‘If you come into the United States, you’ll be deported,’ but, ‘You won’t enter the United States.’”
The AP report quotes White House spokesperson Josh Earnest saying:
“The reason that some people are suggesting the president should go to border when he’s in Texas is because they’d rather play politics than actually trying to address some of these challenges.”
Earnest also suggested that President Obama is aware of the swell of underage illegal immigrants who have flooded into Texas, but that the humanitarian crisis wasn’t part of the president’s reason for coming to Texas.
Gov. Rick Perry, however, claims that the problem, from his perspective as governor of a state that has to actually deal with the illegal immigrants, is the administration’s approach to what it refers to as a humanitarian crisis:
“The real issue, from my perspective, is this message that has come out of this administration for too many years that, ‘Come on up and cross the border and you can become a United States citizen. That has been, by their actions and probably by their rhetoric, a message that has been sent out.”
What do you think? Whose responsibility are the estimated 60,000 illegal aliens – many of them minors – who have crossed the border into Texas since October? Should Barack Obama come see the humanitarian crisis for himself, or is Rick Perry just playing politics with illegal immigrants?
[Image via Shutterstock]