Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Sunday said the Obama administration is either “inept” or doesn’t care about the influx of unaccompanied minors at the border with Mexico.
“They either are inept or don’t care,” Perry said. “I have to believe that when you do not respond in any way, that you are either inept or you have some ulterior motive.”
“This is a failure of diplomacy; this is a failure of leadership,” he added.
Perry said he does not believe President Obama “cares whether or not the border of the United States is secure,” adding that “we are paying a huge price.”
"So the issue is, this president understands now that we have a huge problem on our southern border," he said. "We have to deal with it. And I don't think you're going to be able to address it until you put the resources there, and that's boots on the ground. We're asking for the FAA to allow for drones to be used." Perry also said Obama’s comments urging Central American parents not to send their children to the U.S. are coming “about five years too late.”
Perry rejected a comment from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske, who in an interview earlier in the program said officials were confident they have enough resources.
“He is absolutely and totally wrong,” Perry said.
Perry said Thursday that the Southern border is less secure today than at any time during the recent past. During a House Homeland Security field hearing in McAllen, Texas, Perry testified that the huge surge of child immigrants streaming over the border has sucked up border patrol resources, forcing agencies to deal with the humanitarian crisis and diverting them away from protecting national security.
Perry again invited President Obama to tour the border on his trip to the state this week, saying the experience would make the president “realize this is bigger than politics.”
— Mario Trujillo contributed to this report, which was updated at 4:18 p.m.