President Barack Obama traveled to Texas
but turned down calls to visit the border saying that it "isn't theater" and he's "not interested in photo-ops," but Texas Rep. Bill Flores said that his decision to not visit the border was political.
"Despite the president's statements, I thought he was being political, and he is trying to divert attention from his failures as a president on this particular issue," Flores told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV
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"First of all, if I were the president, or if Rick Perry were president, what we would do is we would go down to the border and look firsthand at what's happening, and then we would sit down with Congress, and we would try to work through what the issues are," he said.
Obama said Wednesday that he's "interested in solving a problem," but the Texas congressman said the president has caused this to happen.
"The president decided two years ago that he wasn't going to follow our current immigration laws and he was going to defer action on folks who were violating the law today in the United States," Flores said.
"He created a market . . . for smugglers to bring unaccompanied [immigrant] children to this country, and it's created this security risk, a health risk, and just an immigration fiasco," he added.
Obama met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry
on Wednesday, and Perry said that he recommended that the president put National Guard troops on the border to bolster the Border Patrol.
Flores agrees with the Texas governor, saying, "We ought to have National Guard troops on the border, and then you work with Congress to try to figure out how much is this going to cost so that you get these children back" and prevent it from happening again.
Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas said Monday that the crisis at the border is Obama's "Katrina moment," likening it to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
Flores says he "wholeheartedly agree[s] with Henry Cuellar on everything except for one thing . . . . He caused this, and now he's trying to blame Congress that he can't fix it."
The Texas congressman says there are several things the president could do right now to solve this problem.
"One is beginning to follow the law again that Congress passed years ago and that earlier presidents signed with respect to adjudication of folks that are here illegally," Flores said.
"He could deploy the National Guard, he could have a diplomatic campaign with these Latin American countries from where these kids are coming and he could say, 'Don't send them up here, or we're going to cut off your aid,'" he added.
Flores said that if these things were done, then "we in Congress would begin to have more confidence that he would follow the law, and then we could sit down and have a conversation about what immigration reform looks like."
However, Flores said that one of the biggest problems is that "even if Congress passed immigration reform we wanted," lawmakers fear that "he wouldn't follow that law."
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