Obama offers to meet Perry over immigration
(CNN) — President Barack Obama, on a trip to Texas, responded to Gov. Rick Perry’s request for a meeting on the immigration crisis with an invitation of his own.
Obama invited Perry to a meeting together with faith leaders and local officials in Dallas on Wednesday, according to a letter written by Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.
Perry, who has loudly called for Obama to visit the border, did not immediately respond to the offer.
Obama is taking heat from Republicans — and some Democrats — for traveling so close to ground zero of the immigration crisis without actually setting foot on the border for a closeup look.
A surge of undocumented youths from Central America has overwhelmed federal facilities and revived the debate over an immigration policy overhaul.
“I hope this does not become Obama’s ‘Katrina moment,’ ” Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said in an interview with Fox News. He was referring to former President George W. Bush’s late response to Hurricane Katrina, a miscalculation that became a scandal.
The White House on Tuesday will ask for $2 billion in emergency funds to help stem the crisis.
Perry has said he “readily” welcomes the emergency funds, but has also asked that Texas be reimbursed for more than $500 million that the state has spent on border security over the past decade.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Sunday the Obama administration will take steps to fix the nation’s broken immigration system, even without the help of Congress.
“There are a number of things that the President and I, within the confines of the law, can do to fix the broken immigration system, and we will,” Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
CNN’s Greg Clary contributed to this report.
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