Governor Jerry Brown spoke out for the first time Friday on the illegal immigration crisis while pointing fingers at policies of the Republican Party and making a nameless reference to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
During the annual American Federation of Teachers convention at the L.A. Convention Center, Brown called the situation that has been mostly impacting Texas in recent weeks a “human tragedy.” Brown urged the Republican Party to work with President Obama, stopping short of endorsing Obama’s $3.7 billion planned taxpayer expenditures, a portion of which would go towards border security.
Brown addressed an audience of teachers as he said, “Everybody’s blaming — it’s Obama’s fault, it’s the border this and that,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
With a raised voice, he continued, “Wait a minute, we’ve got a human tragedy here. We’ve got kids whose throats are being slashed in El Salvador and Honduras and Guatemala. And not, by the way, accidentally, from some of the policies of the last 20 and 30 years,” he noted, taking on a very similar tone to the president, who also blamed the border crisis on the GOP during a Wednesday night press conference.
President Obama refused to visit the Texas border during last week’s visit with Texas Governor Rick Perry. “Why he is so stubborn and hardheaded that he refuses to visit the Rio Grande Valley and witness this ongoing humanitarian crisis with his own eyes really is mystifying,” Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said from the Senate floor on Thursday.
Brown also appeared to make a reference to Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose state’s tax incentives have been driving California businesses out of the Golden State and into the Lone Star State. Brown said, “By the way, they [illegal immigrants] may come in through Texas because they have so many holes in the border down there, but they usually want to get over to California as fast as they can because stuff is happening here,” notes the Times. The audience reportedly laughed at his remarks.
He then added, “I’m not saying I’m encouraging that. I’m not.”
Neel Kashkari, Brown’s Republican challenger in the upcoming November General Election, also spoke at Friday’s teacher convention. He called the governor’s comments “empty,” reports the Sacramento Bee. Kashkari noted and agreed with Brown, as he “acknowledged there’s a crisis.” But Kashkari pointed out that Brown has yet to take a formal stance or plan of action to tangibly address the immigration issue. Brown previously and adamantly remarked that California could be a leader for national action on immigration, writes the Bee.
“So what else are you going to do, governor?” Kashkari asked.
Brown has been urged by members of the Republican Party to provide state resources for public safety surrounding demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, the Times writes. Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Mendez even recommended, last week, that Brown call in the National Guard to help local law enforcement with the situation. Mendez also suggested Brown declare a state of emergency in order to make funds readily available.