Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Obama Fundraises in Texas But No Trip To The Border

The President of the United States has no time or, more accurately, no desire to visit the Texas/Mexico border Wednesday while he is in the state for two fundraisers.  He will be in both Dallas and Austin to raise money for Democrats.

Governor Perry invited President Obama to tour the border with him to see what the reality is concerning the accelerated influx of those entering the country illegally, in specific the increased number of unaccompanied minors.  Initially the president's people turned down the invitation and claimed there was no time in the busy fundraising schedule for a trip to the border.  Then, when questioned about this lack of time by reporters in the White House press corps, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the White House was not particularly concerned about the optics of refusing the touring opportunity.  Then, when the story would not die down and Democrats began to come forward and criticize the decision, top aide Valerie Jarrett issued a statement that the president didn't need no stinkin' tour (my words, not hers) of the border because he knows everything about all things (again my words, not hers).  Still unable to quell the outcry and as Democrats were beginning to take to the airwaves to express their disapproval, it was announced Tuesday that President Obama would be able to meet with Governor Perry in Dallas for a discussion.

Did I mention that when Team Obama reached out and invited Governor Perry to meet him on the tarmac for a handshake welcome photo op, Governor Perry turned down that invitation and said a tour of the border would be better.  Yeah, that happened, too.

So, welcome to Texas, President Obama.

A couple of quotes from an early morning television appearance by Texas Senator John Cornyn on the subject of the President's trip to Texas for fundraising but not to tour the human tragedy on the state's border:

“It would help him get outside of the bubble that all presidents get in. But this President seems just determined to be tone deaf in terms of the human consequences of the policies that he himself has caused."
“…The President should see what we saw….[He] refuses to take the necessary steps in order to deter people from starting out on this long perilous journey up from Central America through Mexico in the hands of the drug cartels where many of them are kidnapped, assaulted."

And from Texas Senator Ted Cruz:
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has joined Texas Gov. Rick Perry in calling on President Barack Obama to visit the Mexican border personally, with Cruz sending Obama actual directions to the border from the president’s planned fundraiser stops in Austin and Dallas.Cruz took to Twitter to invite Obama to take a look at the border itself amid a growing immigration crisis along the southern border with Mexico.“If President Obama wants to have a real border meeting with @GovernorPerry, here are a couple suggested detours,” Cruz tweeted on Tuesday.
I bet Texas Rep Henry Cuellar has some suggestions for the president, too.  He has turned up the heat and spoken clearly that this is not a new problem for Texas and the president has turned a blind eye for far too long.  Cuellar, is a Democrat.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, who represents the district where the immigrants are crossing the Rio Grande Valley at the southernmost tip of the Longhorn State, said the Obama administration is "one step behind.""They should have seen this a long time ago, because we saw those numbers increasing," he said on CNN's "State of the Union," referring to the rise of undocumented immigrants across the border in recent years.Cuellar said that in 2009, about 6,000 unaccompanied children crossed the border, which jumped to 25,000 in 2013. (The Los Angeles Times estimated 39,000 children crossed last year.) But just in May, Cuellar said the number exploded to 9,700 unaccompanied children who unlawfully crossed the border.Up to 80,000 children are expected this year, most coming from Central America."They knew this was happening a year ago, last year. And ... they're not reacting fast enough at this time, in my personal opinion," Cuellar said.Cuellar has been putting pressure on the administration to more aggressively address the issue, but his blunt remarks on national television Sunday reveals the level of frustration he has as his district is the entry point for many. He says the drug cartels are in part to blame and at an average of $5,000 per person are making hundreds of millions of dollars shuttling mothers with children and unaccompanied children into the United States. 

 Is this Obama's Katrina as we hear pundits mention on television?  No.  Hurricane Katrina was a weather event and warnings were issued from former President Bush at the time to the residents of New Orleans and help was offered to stubborn Democrat elected officials in Louisiana who were more concerned with playing politics than upholding their oath of office to protect the people.  The crisis on the border has accelerated over time, especially after President Obama bowed to election year pressure and tweaked a Dream Act type provision to court Latino votes in 2012. President Bush's flyover of the damage caused to the Gulf coast was bad optics.  He did, however, go and make a speech to the nation shortly after that from the grounds of the St Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square.  He and First Lady Laura Bush made several trips to the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of that storm.

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