Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday that he will not support the request for $3.7 billion President Barack Obama made to Congress to deal with the wave of undocumented child migrants from Central America.
Perry, who met with Obama last week to discuss the matter, also said that the emergency appropriations request is not as necessary as sending the National Guard to the country’s southern border to tighten security there, a Republican proposal that the White House has already rejected on several occasions.
The Texas governor, who ran for, but failed to secure, the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, said that the United States has gone more than five years - evidently referring to Obama’s term in office so far - without taking into account what is happening on the border, and he suggested that the president had not developed a plan for dealing with the arrival of illegal immigrants.
When asked how militarizing the frontier by using the National Guard could help halt the recent flow of child migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Perry responded that it would send a message of strength.
After meeting with Perry last week, Obama publicly asked him to pressure Congress to approve the emergency appropriations request.
Most of the funds requested by Obama will be allocated to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is tasked with housing and caring for the minors who arrive in U.S. territory while their cases are being processed.
Another significant portion of the funds would be devoted to increasing the number of judges and other officials on the border to facilitate the timely processing of the child migrants who have arrived so far.
According to federal estimates, some 57,000 undocumented and unaccompanied children have crossed the border from Mexico since last October, mainly via the Rio Grande Valley, and it is anticipated that more than 100,000 will have entered the country by the end of this year.