A Democrat congressman from Texas is concerned the Obama administration’s handling of the immigration crisis will blow up politically, becoming Obama’s “Katrina moment.”
The crisis has been developing for months and came about because of the tens of thousands of illegal aliens – many of them children – who are making their way mostly from Central America to the U.S. border.
Their goal appears to be the benefits that are assured to those who are able to breach the U.S. border and enter the country.
The housing, medical, education and other costs of all of the illegal aliens has yet to be calculated, but President Obama already is asking Congress for nearly $4 billion to get things going.
But Rep. Henry Cuellar is worried that the issue will blow up on the president.
“I’m sure that President Bush thought … that he could just look at everything from up in the sky, and then he owned it after a long time,” Cuellar told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto this week. “So I hope this doesn’t become the Katrina moment for President Obama, saying that he doesn’t need to come to the border. He should come down.”
Bush was criticized intensely following the Katrina disaster for flying over the damaged region, and especially for allowing distribution of a photograph of him looking out of the window of Air Force One at the damage.
Bush later told NBC that the release of the image was a mistake and confirmed he should have landed the jet to meet with officials about the recovery efforts following the hurricane.
Spokesmen for Obama have said he knows well what’s going on along the southwestern border regarding the crisis of illegal aliens, and he hasn’t needed to visit personally.
In fact, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, at one point, “The president is well aware of what is happening along the Southwest border. …”
Cuellar, however, said Obama “should come down to the board and see exactly what’s happened.”
“I certainly would ask him to,” he said.
Obama did make plans to visit Texas this week to raise political funds in Austin, but released no agenda for stopping and visiting with overwhelmed Border Patrol offices.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry earlier turned down an offer from the White House for a “handshake” when Obama arrives, instead pressing for a more in-depth meeting to review the problem.
He has said that the status of the illegal-alien crisis reveals that the Obama administration is either “incredibly inept,” or it somehow is “in on this.”
“How do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico into the United States without there being a coordinated effort?” Perry asked.
He said he had notified the president of the developing issue as early as 2010, but he never got a response.
“I have to believe when you do not respond, you either are inept or have some ulterior motive,” he said.