Obama, Perry meet in Texas amid 'urgent humanitarian situation' - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Obama, Perry meet in Texas amid 'urgent humanitarian situation'

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(CNN) -- President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday in Texas about the immigration crisis and urged Congress to focus on solving the problem swiftly.

He wants lawmakers to approve his emergency $3.7 billion proposal.

"The problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem. The challenge ... is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done?" Obama asked during a stop in Dallas.

"Are folks more interested in politics or are they more interested in solving the problem?"

The trip to the Lone Star State includes Democratic Party fundraising events, and after some political squabbling, a meeting with Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who greeted Obama at the airport in Fort Worth after originally declining such an encounter.

They shook hands and then boarded Obama's helicopter for Dallas, where they met with faith leaders and local officials to discuss options for responding to the influx of young immigrants illegally entering the country.

When asked by a reporter to address those who say he should visit the border to witness the immigration crisis around the unexpected surge of unaccompanied minors firsthand, the President said he wasn't interested in photo ops.

"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," he said.

Discussions aren't enough for GOP critics or even some of Obama's fellow Democrats.

"This is a real crisis and the President needs to treat it as such and I think traveling from Dallas to the border is a 500-mile trip," Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told CNN. "That's not far to go on Air Force One."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a possible GOP presidential nominee in 2016, called the situation similar to the much-disparaged federal response to Hurricane Katrina by the Bush administration.

"For him to go to Texas and spend two days shaking down donors and never even getting near the border mess he helped create would be like flying into New Orleans in the highest waters of Katrina to eat Creole cooking, but never getting near the Ninth Ward, the Superdome, or the Convention Center where thousands languished in squalor," Huckabee said.

In a conference call Tuesday, White House officials repeatedly emphasized that Obama regarded the immigration crisis as "an urgent humanitarian situation." They announced the President is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to better respond to it.

Before traveling to Texas, Obama repeated his complaint of House Republican inaction on Senate-passed immigration reform, telling a Denver fundraiser that Congress "just said 'no' to fixing our broken immigration system in a way that strengthens our borders and our businesses."


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