Obama Catches Bipartisan Flak for Skipping Border
President Barack Obama is trying to shrug off criticism over his visit to Texas to address the growing border crisis.
He traveled to Dallas Wednesday to meet with officials and religious leaders. His trip, however, did not include a visit to the U.S. southern border.
"I'm not interested in photo ops. I'm interested in solving a problem," the president said.
But his decision has drawn criticism from both sides of the political aisle.
What concerns emerged during the president's meeting with faith leaders? Chris Liebrum, with the Texas Baptists, is one of the faith leaders who met with the president. He shared his take on the meeting with CBN News, July 10.
On Wednesday, he met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry who's been highly critical of how his administration has handled this crisis.
"The president has sent powerful messages time after time by his policies, by nuances, that it is okay to come to the United States and you can come across and you'll be accepted in open arms," Perry charged.
Even some Democrats say the president needs to see firsthand the effects of the surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally.
"He's so close to the border. And let me say this: When I saw - and I hate to use the word bizarre - but under the circumstances, when he is shown playing pool in Colorado, drinking a beer, and he can't even go 242 miles to the Texas border?" Rep. Henry Cueller, D-Texas, noted.
"And plus," he continued, "if he doesn't want to go down to the border, there's the Air Force base where HHS is holding some of the young kids from the border. He could at least make that trip to San Antonio."
Tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors streaming across the border from Central America have overwhelmed the government's ability to respond.
The president has asked for nearly $4 billion for emergency spending to address the crisis.
But Republicans oppose the move, blaming the administration's policies for the crisis.
Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz contend the president's efforts to relax some deportations have contributed to rumors circulating in Central America that once here, migrant kids will be allowed to stay.
GOP lawmakers say they won't approve the president's request for emergency spending until Democrats agree to amend the current law to ensure that unaccompanied minors are quickly returned home.
Meanwhile, the crisis is not likely to go away soon, given the huge amount of illegal immigrants still crossing the border.
One Federal Emergency Management Agency official said kids are coming in faster than they can discharge them.