President Barack Obama Sends Defense, Homeland Security Officials to Evaluate Need for National Guard Troops at Texas Border
Days following Texas Gov. Rick Perry's announcement to deploy approximately 1,000 National Guard troops to the southern U.S. border, President Barack Obama sent a team to assess if Perry's decision would help ease the immigration crisis.
Perry has previously asked Obama for the support of National Guard troops at the border while new border patrol agents receive training. Obama stated National Guard troops at the border is a "temporary solution," but he preferred a long-term solution.
According to Reuters, the team will consist of officials from the Department of Defense and Homeland Security. The purpose of the team is to evaluate and access the situation at the U.S. and Mexican border and whether the deployment of the National Guard would make a difference. White House spokesman Shawn Turner stated the officials are reportedly visiting the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector. The Defense and Homeland Security departments' officials will also provide recommendations following their return.
As Latin Post reported, Perry used his executive authority as the state's governor to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the southern Texas border.
"I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor. We are too good a country for that to occur," said Perry during a press conference on July 21.
The Texas taxpayers will fund the National Guard troops, which will cost nearly $12 million per month. If Obama had sent the National Guard, the federal government would have funded it.
Obama did request that Congress allocate $3.7 billion to help ease the border crisis. Senate Democrats, however, have agreed to propose approximately $2.7 billion instead. The proposal was based on a review of "what is needed in calendar year 2014" to meet needs at the border, said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., who is also preparing the legislation.
The White House noted 57,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed into the U.S. since October 2013. Most of the children are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Government officials have projected 90,000 undocumented children will enter the U.S. this year, but the figure is expected to increase to 150,000 in 2015. Obama is scheduled to meet with the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras July 25 to discuss the influx of undocumented immigrants, particularly minors, which has become a humanitarian and political crisis for the Obama administration.
It was not specified how long the officials will stay at Rio Grande Valley or a deadline to propose their recommendations to the White House.
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