[guest post by Dana]
The previously mentioned amount of $2 billion the president would be requesting to process the unaccompanied minor detainees more quickly, has now almost doubled.
The White House on Tuesday formally requested $3.7 billion from Congress in emergency funding to deal with an influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America, a far higher amount than the Obama administration had previously signaled.
The money would go to several federal agencies, including the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, State and Health and Human Services. Funds would be allocated to send more immigration judges to the southern border, build additional detention facilities and add border patrol agents.
The move is aimed at more quickly deporting the tens of thousands of women and children who have entered the country illegally across the souther border, most of them in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
Also, as President Obama is still refusing Governor Rick Perry’s invitation to visit the southern border while the president is in Texas, Valerie Jarrett has invited Governor Perry to shake hands with the president on the tarmac.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has reportedly rejected President Barack Obama’s offer to briefly shake hands when Air Force One lands in Austin on Wednesday. Instead, the governor came back with a counteroffer.
“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas,” Perry wrote in a letter to Obama. “I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue.”
As a result of Governor Perry’s refusal, or likely because someone in the administration with half a brain figured out that the optics of arrogantly offering to shake hands on a tarmac with the sitting governor in a state that is literally the flashpoint of a “humanitarian crisis” might not be so good, the administration has instead offered to meet with Governor Perry:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said he plans to meet with President Obama to discuss the influx of women and children at the southwest border.
Perry will meet with Obama and local faith and elected leaders in Dallas on Wednesday. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett invited Perry to the Dallas meeting.
“Governor Perry is pleased that President Obama has accepted his invitation to discuss the humanitarian and national security crises along our southern border, and he looks forward to meeting with the president tomorrow,” Perry spokesman Felix Browne wrote in an e-mail.
And lastly, the first in a series of ads commissioned by U.S. homeland security officials to deter Central American minors from illegally crossing the southern border, has been released:
The public service announcement, in Spanish, is airing in Guatemala as part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials’ $1 million multimedia campaign to deter future border crossers.
CPB’s campaign includes about 6,500 public service announcements to run on radio and television in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala through Sept. 7, the Associated Press reports. Billboards throughout Central American countries will warn parents about the dangers of the journey to the U.S.
The Dangers Awareness Campaign also will run in U.S. cities with large Central American populations, including Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Washington, D.C.
The translation of the ad follows:
Dear Uncle: My mom continues warning me about heading north. She tells me the maras [violent street gangs] are on the train and the [Mexican] cartels kidnap immigrants. That you have to walk for endless days in the desert. That might be the case, but there are no rewards for those who don’t risk it. I can already imagine myself in the States making great money and relieving my mother’s worries. Thanks, Uncle, we’ll see each other soon.
Then comes the voice of an announcer over images of the boy’s fate:
This idea that it’s now easier for our children to receive documentation in the U.S. is false. What’s true is that we’d be subjecting them to the elements, to the coyotes [violent smugglers of humans], and the [Rio Grande] river. They are our future. We must protect them.