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8:29 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Obama Turns To Gov. Perry In Seeking A Solution To Border Crisis

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:40 pm

After a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President Obama addressed the influx of migrant children on the U.S.-Mexico border. He signaled his openness to Perry's solutions, saying he'd consider deploying the National Guard, but also called on Congress to offer solutions of its own.

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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama met with Republican Texas governor Rick Perry today to discuss the growing problem of unaccompanied minors crossing the border. The president recently called on Congress to approve $3.7 billion in funds to deal with the influx of migrant children from Central America. President Obama is often heavily criticized by Governor Perry, but he signaled that he is open to Perry's suggestions, especially if Republicans could meet him halfway.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If the Texas delegation is prepared to move, this thing can get done next week. We can have more Border Patrol agents on the border, as the governor's requested. We can shorten the timetables for processing these children or adults with children, as the governor thinks is important. We can make sure that some of the public health issues that were raised in the meeting that I just had are addressed, so that we got enough folks vaccinating and checking on the health status of these children to make sure that not only are they safe but also our communities are safe.

SIEGEL: The president also said he would consider deploying the National Guard to the border. But he warned that would only be a temporary solution. He also called upon Congress to act on the border crisis, acknowledging the partisan differences that have blocked any action.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

OBAMA: Well, here's a good test case - this is something you say is important, as I do. This is an area that you have prioritized, as I have. Don't wait for me to take executive actions if - when you have the capacity right now to go ahead and get something done.

SIEGEL: And the president issued a warning to the parents of migrant children that sending them north from Central America through Mexico is not a solution.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

OBAMA: We intend to do the right thing by these children. Their parents need to know that this is an incredibly dangerous situation and it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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