As the immigration debate heats up between Democrats and Republicans this week ahead of Congress’s month-long recess, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is facing wrath from residents in his home state.
At least 20 members of the Texas Organizing Project (TOP) rallied on Tuesday outside of a hotel in Dallas, where Perry spoke at an annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council. They protested the Republican governor’s recent request to deploy as many as 1,000 service members to help with security at the U.S.-Mexico border. Protesters held 12 large, blank checks to symbolize the millions of dollars the state will spend on Perry’s plan. His choice is “unnecessary,” Daniel Barrera, TOP’s Dallas County communications director, told msnbc.
Members believe the Red Cross should be sent to the region, instead of members of the Texas National Guard, to treat the children humanely. They created a petition in pursuit of preventing a militarized border in their state.
Upon requesting additional troops at the border last week, Perry said the guardsmen will mobilize throughout the next month and alongside law enforcement officials to combat criminal activity in the region and deter other individuals from entering the United States.
Tens of thousands of undocumented children continue to arrive to the southwestern part of the country, as they flee violence and instability at home in Central America. The recent surge of immigrants being stopped at the border has escalated into both a humanitarian crisis and a political challenge for the Obama administration.
Slightly more than half – 53% – of Americans believed the United States doesn’t have a moral obligation to offer asylum to people who escape violence or political persecution, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll published Wednesday. But 44% of the public thought the country holds that responsibility.
Additionally, 70% of Republicans said children who flee from gang violence in Central America shouldn’t be treated as refugees. But 62% of Democrats said the kids should be considered refugees. The poll was conducted from July 24 to July 28 among 1,044 randomly selected U.S. adults.
House Republicans on Tuesday revealed their plan to offer $659 million to deal with the surge of immigrants. Their measure, however, falls short of President Barack Obama’s appeal for $3.7 billion for additional resources in the region. The House is expected to vote on the legislation Thursday, one day before lawmakers’ month-long summer break.
But Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Jeff Sessions of Alabama criticized GOP leaders for their proposal, and urged members of their party to oppose the bill. Instead, they continue to blame Obama directly for the migrant issue because of his 2012 decision to allow undocumented immigrants to remain in the country and work temporarily.
Democrats and Republicans haven’t agreed on solutions to fix the current situation. House Speaker John Boehner previously said he thought it would be unlikely for Congress to arrive at a decision before Aug. 1. Republican leadership met Obama’s monetary request with resistance, citing objections to the multibillion-dollar price tag and demanding changes to the bill. Some individuals noted that the administration has been aware of the escalating problem since January, but didn’t include an aid appeal in the March budget. And Democrats have blamed Republicans for blocking funds to help with the migrant issue.
The immigration talks this week come as Republicans decide whether or not they want to move forward with their attempt to impeach Obama for acting in various situations first without consulting Congress.