By John Blosser
WASHINGTON D.C. – President Barack Obama is finding it “hard to take seriously” calls by Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry and a host of other Republican lawmakers that he drop his Deferred Action Plan for Childhood Arrivals.
“That’s not going to happen,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, The Hill reports.
Gov. Perry also called for the stoppage of foreign aid to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras in an interview on Fox, The Hill reports, saying, “I would suggest the diplomatic reach with foreign aid to the leaders of those countries and basically say, ‘You will engage in stopping this traffic coming up through your country, and if you don’t, this foreign aid is going to stop.’ That is a boycott I could support.”
Rep. Darrell Issa and 32 other Republican lawmakers have called on President Obama to cancel the 2012 Deferred Action Program in light of the unprecedented crisis that has seen more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors from Mexico and other countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras flood the U.S. border since October.
Earnest charged that Republican critics “would rather play politics than try to address some of these problems,” The Hill reports.
“I think the most effective way that Governor Perry can help, if that’s what he says he wants to do, would be to pick up the phone and call the Republican members of the House of Representatives that represent the state of Texas and tell them to support the bipartisan proposal to reform our immigration system that passed through the Senate.”
Gov. Perry told Fox he has called on President Obama to visit the border during an upcoming trip to Texas, and added that if he did not, it would be a “real reflection of his lack of concern of what’s really going on there.
“If the president of the United States is really serious about securing that border, we can show him how to do that. But I haven’t even had a phone call from this President,” Gov. Perry told Fox, according to The Hill.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was a 2012 memorandum issued by the Obama administration after failure to achieve passage of the controversial DREAM Act for undocumented minors.
While many Republicans blame Deferred Action for encouraging and, therefore, causing the border crisis by giving the impression that undocumented children will be allowed to stay in the U.S., The Hill reports Earnest stated, “Parents should not put their children in the hands of criminals to transport them to the Southwest border with the expectation that they’ll be welcomed into the country. They won’t.”
In an opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News, Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, noted, “Drug and gang related violence in Central America has been a major problem for many years. But the massive spike in illegal immigration by Central American children didn’t start until 2012 — the same year Obama announced his deferred action program.”