Texas Gov. Rick Perry challenged President Obama’s reasoning for not traveling to the border during a fundraising swing through the Lone Star state, saying Americans expect their commander-in-chief to respond to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in much the same way he responds to natural disasters.
“He showed up at Sandy,” Mr. Perry, a Republican, told CNN’s “New Day,” alluding to Mr. Obama’s response to the 2012 hurricane that slammed the coast of the Northeastern United States.” “Why can’t he show up on the border of Texas?”
Mr. Obama met briefly with Mr. Perry on Wednesday and later defended his decision not to go to the border by saying he is “not interested in photo ops.”
On Thursday, Mr Perry said, “It is not theater.”
“The American people expect to see their president when there is a disaster,” he said.
Mr. Perry is urging the president to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border. He also requested that the president rethink the nation’s “catch-and-release” policy for illegal immigrants from non-Mexican countries who are caught at the border.
And he said that moves should be made to ensure that children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras can be immediately deported, just like children that try to come into the United States illegally from Mexico and Canada.