Texas Gov. Rick Perry said President Barack Obama had not called him since the onslaught of illegal immigrants descended upon his state, despite the fact the migrants were probably coming to the United States because of the message from the White House.
"I haven't even had a phone call from this president," Perry, a Republican, told "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday. "The real issue, from my perspective, is this message that has come out of this administration for too many years of 'Come on up and cross the border, and you can become a United States citizen.'"
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Perry said he hopes Obama will visit the border when he goes to Texas next week for a fundraiser. He said if the president does not go to the border, it would be "a real reflection of his lack of concern about what's really going on there."
The surge of thousands of illegal immigrants, many of them children from Central America unaccompanied by adults, is impacting the southern U.S. border states, particularly hitting Texas hard. Perry said Texas has spent millions in state funds to address the issue.
"We've approved $1.3 million a week to bolster what we were already doing. And we, since 2009, [have] half a billion Texas state tax dollars going to the border to support the local law enforcement," he said.
What Obama needs to do, Perry said, is "secure the border." Without doing that, he said, "the American people do not trust him, and they don't trust Washington to implement any policies that would deal with the issue of immigration."
Perry suggested the United States seek a diplomatic solution that threatens aid to the countries involved in order to stem the tide of illegal immigrants crossing the border.
"If you want to stop these young people coming up from Central America through Mexico, I would suggest the diplomatic reach with foreign aid into the leaders of those countries. And basically say, 'You will engage in stopping this traffic coming up through your country. And if you don't, this foreign aid is going to stop.'
"That is a boycott I could support," Perry said.
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