After meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry Wednesday, President Barack Obama said the White House intends “to do the right thing by these children” who are unlawfully crossing the border.
Obama said “their parents need to know that this is an incredibly dangerous situation” and mentioned that he has asked parents in Central America “not to put their children in harm’s way.”
Obama said he and Perry talked about needing more resources at the border in what was a “constructive” conversation. He said Perry told him that some Border Patrol agents were positioned too far north to deter illegal immigrants from coming across the border. Obama also mentioned that much of what Perry told him “sounded like it made sense.”
Perry, Obama said, also expressed frustration that kids who come from Mexico are immediately deported while those who are coming from Central America have to go through a much lengthier process. Perry and Obama also discussed the need to expedite “how the immigration judicial system works,” and Obama acknowledged that “a sizable number” of illegal immigrant kids “don’t show up” to their hearings.
Obama also said that Mexico has announced “a series of steps” the country is going to take along its Southern border to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants heading to America and emphasized the need for “vaccinating” and “checking on the health status” of those who unlawfully cross the U.S.-Mexico border “to make sure our communities are safe.”
Obama also said he would be “happy to consider” deploying National Guard troops to the border, urged Congress to grant him the $3.7 billion in funds he requested in addition to passing a comprehensive amnesty bill, refused to visit the border while attending three Texas fundraisers for Democrats, and claimed that his temporary amnesty program has neither created nor exacerbated the crisis.
At least 57,000 illegal immigrant children have crossed the border since October of last year, and federal officials estimate that at least 150,000 more will do so next year. The number of illegal immigrant children crossing the border has increased since Obama unilaterally enacted his temporary amnesty program for certain DREAMers in 2012.