Texas Governor Rick Perry has criticised President Obama for his apparent lack of US immigration enforcement.
08 May 2012
Rick Perry blasts Obama on US immigration
Texas Governor Rick Perry has written to President Barack Obama criticising his administration over the apparent failings of his administration to enforce US immigration policy along the Mexican border.
Governor Perry, who suspended his campaign to secure the Republican presidential nomination in January, said the Obama administration's perceived lax attitude to US immigration encouraged illegal immigrants, particularly young ones, to attempt the dangerous journey across the border.
In a letter received by Fox News yesterday, Governor Perry said that over 5,000 'unaccompanied minors' without a valid US visa crossed the border and entered straight into government care in the first six months of the fiscal year, a 90% increase on the same period last year.
Governor Perry said the Obama administration’s failure to immediately deport the children back to their home countries encouraged other minors to attempt a journey that often involved crossing deserts and mountains. The Texan Governor urged the federal government to tighten border controls in an effort to end 'this tragic and illegal migration'.
"Every day of delay risks more lives, every child allowed to remain encourages hundreds more to attempt the journey," wrote Governor Perry. "This is precisely what happens when the federal government refuses to recognise its responsibility for our nation's immigration and border security.
"Our country can no longer provide the temptation for these unaccompanied minors to engage in this tragic and illegal migration. To end it, the federal government must stop new arrivals at the border, repatriate those already here and prevent and discourage others."
Governor Perry is part of a growing number of Republican politicians who have spoken out as President Obama's apparent lax attitude towards immigration. However, as the Obama administration has deported record numbers of illegal immigrants, many nonpartisan commentators have questioned how much traction the criticism will gain.
While US immigration looks set to be a vital topic in the upcoming president election, no federal government department has yet responded to the governor's letter.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.