After days of back-and-forth accusations, the White House is inviting Texas Gov. Rick Perry to meet with President Obama to talk about the immigration crisis on the Southwest border.
In a letter to Perry released Tuesday, senior Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett asked him to a meeting and also to a session with faith leaders and local elected officials in Dallas on Wednesday.
“The president would welcome a meeting with you while he is in Texas,” Jarrett wrote in a letter dated Monday.
In in his own letter on Monday, Perry said he would agree to a “substantive meeting” at any time during Obama’s trip to Texas, if given enough advance warning.
“With the appropriate notice, I am willing to change my schedule to facilitate this request,” Perry wrote in a letter to the president, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman.
Perry said he was not interested in a “quick handshake on the tarmac," according to the newspaper.
The exchange comes after days of feuding between the two sides over the growing crisis at the border. Perry over the weekend charged on ABC’s “This Week” that Obama was either “inept” in failing to secure the border or that he has an “ulterior motive” for not doing so. White House officials have said Perry is playing politics over the crisis.
The public disagreement continues as Obama prepares to travel to Dallas and Austin this week to talk about the economy and to raise money for fellow Democrats.
Before Obama departs on Tuesday afternoon, his administration plans to lay out a strategy for beefing up the number of immigration judges, lawyers and other officials at the border in an effort to speed deportation cases. Obama is seeking $2 billion in emergency spending from Congress.
The money would go to deterring people from flooding the border and prosecuting the criminal networks that ferry them there, Jarrett wrote in her letter.
The president’s plan also aims to help repatriate people to their home countries and increase the capacity for detaining and caring for the unaccompanied children arriving at the border, she wrote.
Jarrett urged Perry to help the administration pressure Congress to approve the emergency money quickly.
“The humanitarian situation at the border is but the latest example of the great cost of congressional inaction,” she wrote.
As of Tuesday morning, an aide said, the White House had not heard back from Perry.
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