- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 9, 2014

President Obama on Wednesday night strongly defended his decision not to visit the U.S.-Mexico border while on a visit to Texas this week, saying such a move would represent “theater” and “photo ops” rather than a genuine effort to address the growing crisis along the country’s southern boundary.

In hastily arranged remarks in Dallas following a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and others, the president called on Texas Republicans and others in the GOP to support in Congress a $3.7 billion package the administration unveiled earlier this week. The money would be spent to both enhance security at the border and deal legally with the stream of undocumented immigrant children flooding into the U.S. from Mexico, Central America and elsewhere.

While both Republicans and Democrats have said the president should visit the border, he rejected those calls.


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“There is nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on. This isn’t theater. This is a problem,” the president said. “I’m not interested in photo ops. I’m interested in solving a problem. And those who say I should visit the border, when you ask what should be doing, they’re giving us suggestions that are embodied in legislation I already have sent to Congress.”

As for his meeting with Mr. Perry, Mr. Obama said he did not have any “philosophical” objections to any of the Republican governor’s requests for increased border security and on other issues.

 


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In his own statement, Mr. Perry detailed his requests to the president, including asking Mr. Obama to visit the border and “witness firsthand the impact of the border crisis.”
The governor also asked for National Guard troops on the border, Predator drones to patrol the area from the sky and other steps.
“Securing the border is attainable, and the president needs to commit the resources necessary to get this done,” Mr. Perry said.

 

Mr. Obama is in Texas to headline party fundraisers in Austin and Dallas.