- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Republican Reps. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Mike McCaul of Texas and Darrell Issa of California are among lawmakers congregating in the Rio Grande Valley to bear practical witness to the ongoing surge of illegal immigrants — particularly unaccompanied minors under the impression that a future home is guaranteed. President Obama is also journeying down that way in a few days. To Texas, to be exact. But a visit to the border?

Not on the agenda.

Fire up Air Force One, folks, it’s fundraising time once again, complete with those $32,400 tickets. In less than a week, Mr. Obama will be in Denver for a lunchtime event to benefit Colorado Democrats, then it’s on to Dallas later that afternoon for a private Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee barbecue at the home of a prominent local attorney. The president then heads to Austin for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, complete with Hollywood stars Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Demi Lovato and Danny Trejo.

But wait. Doesn’t Gov. Rick Perry live there too? Why, he does. And it was the very same governor who asked Mr. Obama in a personal tweet: “While in TX next week, I invite you to tour the border with me to see firsthand what is happening there.”

There was no reply. Mr. Perry himself testifies Thursday before members of the House Homeland Security Committee on the crisis, in a field hearing five miles from the Mexico border.

“With every day of inaction by the federal government to secure our southern border, the crisis of illegal immigration and the threat to national security from criminal elements grow worse,” Mr. Perry says.

But Mr. Obama won’t be there.

“There is no plan to visit the border while he’s in Texas,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed to reporters, adding “This president is obviously very attuned to what’s happening at the border. The president is getting regular updates on the situation.”

ABOUT THAT LONE STAR HEARING

Regarding the aforementioned field hearing. It’s titled “Crisis on the Texas Border: Surge of Unaccompanied Minors” and is scheduled in McAllen, Texas, at high noon. Along with Mr. Perry, the witness list also includes Kevin W. Oaks, Chief U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Rio Grande Valley sector; Steve C. McCraw, director of Texas Department of Public Safety; and Bishop Mark J. Seitz of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso.

“State and local officials have been left to fill a void left by the federal government,” says Rep. Mike McCaul, Texas Republican and Homeland Security Committee chairman, who says that all the testimony will be incorporated into the findings of the Congressional working group established to address this problem.

FOR THE LEXICON

“The Obama Scandal Bracket”

— Fill-in-the-blank bracket based on the basketball version that includes such listings as “Border? What border?” and “If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it,” now posted at Powerline.com. The bracket was designed by reader Brian Mirakian, who advises, “Let’s play Obama scandal madness!”

IMMIGRATION MATH, HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

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