Perry wants more than handshake with Obama during Texas visit


Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) requested a meeting with President Obama during his trip to the state this week, saying a brief meeting when Obama deplanes Air Force One does not allow time to discuss the crisis on the southern border.

"A quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion," he wrote in a letter to the president sent Monday. 

The White House invited Perry to greet the president at the Austin- Bergstrom Airport when the president arrives for a fundraiser there later this week, the governor said. 

But Perry said that would not be enough for a substantive discussion about the huge influx of child migrants being detained this year on the Texas-Mexico border. More than 52,000 children have been apprehended this year. 

"I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue," he said in the letter. "With appropriate notice, I am willing to change my schedule to facilitate this request." 

Later in the letter, Perry reiterated that he could meet with the president "at any point" during the trip. 

Obama is scheduled to fly to Dallas on Wednesday and Austin on Thursday for a pair of Democratic fundraisers. The White House said Obama has no plans to visit the border while in the state, pointing to other recent visits by administration officials. 

Perry has continuously criticized Obama for ignoring his calls for increased resources and invitations to view the border crisis first-hand. 

Since 2009, Perry said he has been requesting 1,000 National Guard members to be posted at the Texas-Mexico border. He has sent Obama a series of letters raising concerns about the border since then. 

Over the weekend, Perry said the administration is either inept or does not care about the problem, which has increased this fiscal year due to violence and crime in some Central American countries and misperception about U.S. immigration policy.

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