President Barack Obama met briefly with Texas Governor Rick Perry Wednesday to discuss the surge of young Latin Americans crossing illegally into Texas, a controversy that has put the two leaders at odds with one another.
Since the beginning of last October, roughly 52,000 unaccompanied children from Central America have crossed into the United States illegally, which has overwhelmed the border security system.
Perry asked that the President send a strong message to illegal immigrants by providing an additional 1,000 national guard troops along the Texas border.
“There’s nothing that the Governor indicated that he’d like to see that I have a philosophical objection to,” Obama said. “While we intend to do the right thing by theses children, their parents need to know this is a dangerous situation and it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay.”
Perry, despite the meeting with Obama, still called on the President to visit the Texas border, which Perry said that he had warned him about two years ago as Texas began seeing a rise in children crossing the border.
“A leader acts and what I haven’t seen out of this president are actions that makes me think he understands what’s going on,” Perry said on Sean Hannity’s television show just hours after the two held their meeting.
“If the Texas delegation is prepared to move, this thing can get done next week,” Obama said after stating that he hopes Perry will talk to the
Texas Republican Congressional delegation and pressure them to pass his proposal for nearly $4 billion in emergency funding to shore up the U.S. borders.
Perry and Obama also met with local elected officials and faith leaders about Dallas County commissioner court Judge Clay Jenkin’s plan to house 2,000 children from Central America in Dallas County.
Attending officials included Jenkins, Dallas County commissioner Elba Garcia, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Democratic Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas.
“For the most part, we put aside those partisan arguments and we discussed a way to get this problem resolved,” Jenkins told reporters.