American Elephants

The President Met With Governor Perry. Perry-1, Obama-0. by The Elephant's Child

Texas Governor Rick Perry met with President Obama today in Dallas. After the meeting he released the following statement.

DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry today met with President Barack Obama to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and national security crises occurring along the Texas-Mexico border. In the meeting, Gov. Perry urged the president to undertake the necessary steps to secure the border and ease the crises.

“Five hundred miles south of here in the Rio Grande Valley there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding that has been created by bad public policy, in particular the failure to secure the border,” Gov. Perry said. “Securing the border is attainable, and the president needs to commit the resources necessary to get this done.”

Among the requests Gov. Perry made to President Obama to secure the border:

  • Visit the Texas-Mexico border to witness firsthand the impact of the border crisis;
  • Deploy an additional 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to immediately enhance border security operations;
  • Direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the National Guard to utilize Predator drones along the Texas-Mexico border for identifying and tracking human and drug trafficking;
  • Medically screen all illegal immigrants to ensure their health and the health of our citizens;
  • Direct the Centers for Disease Control or another appropriate federal agency outside the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct, in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), inspections of facilities in which illegal immigrants, including UACs, are being housed to ensure accepted international and national emergency sheltering standards are met;
  • Modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration, including:
  • DHS Catch and Release policies by which DHS issues an illegal immigrant an NTA before an immigration judge and releases them. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 33 percent of those released on their own recognizance failed to appear in FY 2013.
  • Deportation policies and procedures that prohibit UACs from countries other than Mexico and Canada from being immediately repatriated back to their country of origin. After DHS processes these UACs, they are issued an NTA and delivered to a sponsor or relative in the United States, regardless of the relative’s immigration status.
The president said “Right now, there are more Border Patrol agents and surveillance resources on the ground than at any time in our history.  And we deport almost 400,000 migrants each year.” Which is not quite accurate. We have really boosted the funding for the Border Patrol, but according to reports, most of the Border Patrol agents have been called from the border to processing the UAC (Unaccompanied Alien Children), and the border is essentially wide open.
Obama, of course, takes responsibility only for the good things, and the problem at the border is, somehow, the uncooperative Republicans. It would all go smoothly if we had more administrative judges,more administrative capacity and lots more money.
We’ve asked Jeh Johnson to contact his head of Health and Human Services when he comes down for the sixth time at the end of this week to coordinate and make sure that some of the suggestions that the Governor has are technically feasible and what kind of resources might be needed. But what I emphasized to the Governor was the problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem.  The challenge is, is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done.
Another way of putting it — and I said this directly to the Governor — is are folks more interested in politics, or are they more interested in solving the problem?  If they’re interested in solving the problem, then this can be solved.  If the preference is for politics, then it won’t be solved.

The president was asked why he won’t visit the border. He said:

Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times.  He’s going for a sixth this week.  He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that’s taking place.  So there’s 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.  I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.

Obama has asked for $3.8 billion to feed, house and clothe something like 50,000 UAC, but then as soon as they are “processed” they are put on a bus to take them to their “relatives,” and only 20% will ever turn up for their deportation hearing. Senator Coburn said you could send them all back home, first class air to Guatemala City for just $20 million. So somebody has some problems with math.

What has drawn the sudden influx of unaccompanied alien children, is President Obama’s very own “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA), This was created with an executive order. Obama could rescind it any time he wants. Yet he says now that he cannot act without Congress.


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Two things:
1 – While it is true that Obama has added to the Border Patrol, what has been added has mainly been administrative and office.
2 – Obama keeps sending Jeh Johnson to the border to check on things, so “…there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.” And we all know how well Obama pays attention to, or even attends, his briefings.
No, despite Obama being “Intimately aware” of the situation, the reason he doesn’t go down there is because he wants to be able to use his favorite excuse as an out if he has to (no, the other favorite excuse – not that they haven’t tried blaming this situation on Bush). If he goes down there himself, sees the situation with his own eyes, then he can hardly claim ignorance when something happens. This way, getting his information second-hand, he can still pretend that something that shows up in the media is a surprise to him… despite being “intimately aware and briefed on”.

One of the other things that has struck me (and others; I’m not claiming any special insight here) is that Obama has been talking for the past year about how he has a phone and a pen and will act when Congress doesn’t, and yet when he is presented with a situation that is largely because of administrative policies (i.e., things that he CAN fix with his pen and his phone), he shuts down like a petulant child and says Congress has to fix this (naturally, the fix that Congress has to act on is one that consists entirely of Obama priorities and none of what is actually needed to fix the problem).

One of the bright spots I find about Obama is that he has never learned how to negotiate. He has never learned diplomacy, never learned to compromise, never picked up the art of the deal. Why is this a bright spot? Because it means that Obama will ultimately not do all the damage that he could do. If he had been able to work with someone… anyone (he doesn’t even work well with Democrats in Congress), a lot of what he has done would be set firmly in the concrete of legislation. As it is, most of what he has are executive orders, and those can be fixed in the first three days of the next administration.

I am personally of the opinion that Obama is so inept as a leader that he can’t even make a mistake without screwing it up.


Comment by Lon Mead

I think beyond speechmaking and fundraising, which is the extent of his skills, he relies entirely on the “experts” he has chosen as Czars, advisors, agency heads and cabinet members to know or learn about the subjects within their sway. They present him with 3 choices, and he takes his pick. Thus he doesn’t have to become familiar with problems or do anything about them. That’s why the White House staff is so much larger than ever before. And a lazy man’s way of dealing with that which he does not understand. (How’s that for psychoanalysis from a layman?)

He doesn’t have any particular skill at choosing advisors though — i.e. John Kerry, Joe Biden,Chuck Hagel, Valerie Jarrett, McDonough, etc., etc. Add on his absolute inability to be responsible for anything…. I got a kick out of Boehner’s exasperation today when he burst out with “He’s been president for 5 and a half years. When is he ever going to be responsible for anything?”


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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