Governor Rick Perry (R,Tx) was not able to persuade President Obama to go to the U.S./Mexico border with him and so he found someone else to go with him: Sean Hannity, the famed FOX News host who is known for being outspoken and opinionated. The Governor and TV host appeared on a patrol boat that was heavily armed, according to ABC News on Friday.
The gunboats have been positioned at the border to guard against drug trafficking, gangs, smugglers and other criminal elements. However, the crisis at the border involves young children who have deliberately approached the border and turned themselves into authorities on instructions from their parents who, in most cases, do not accompany the children. This is a new phenomenon at the border that has not occurred previously. In the more traditional scenario, it is adults who are crossing border into the United States and they are sneaking across undetected, as opposed to deliberately turning themselves into the authorities.
The Obama Administration has been calling upon Congress to pass an immigration reform bill for months now. President Obama has threatened to direct immigration reform by way of executive order if Congress does not send him a bill. In the meantime, GOP (Grand Old Party-Republicans) members of Congress, Tea Party members, and conservative talk show hosts have been flinging accusations at President Obama for not securing the border. Ultra-conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, in an article entitled, "Why are Republicans Hell-Bent on Destroying Their Party with Amnesty?," January 30, 2014, highlighted the fear among GOP conservatives that the immigrants who will be granted citizenship under Obama's proposed immigration reform program will "vote Democrat." Limbaugh wrote:
"...I mean, when you flood the country with millions of people who are predestined to vote Democrat, in a vast majority sense, who are inexperienced and low wage, what in the world is going to happen when you bring in that many or legalize that many and you've given up your assimilation, the assimilation aspect of immigration, then you have Balkanization that takes place? There's no evidence that this works. There's no evidence that this benefits the Republican Party."
It is unclear how much the fear of losing voting power in favor of the Democrats is a factor in GOP resistance to immigration reform. In the meantime, Governor Perry finds it acceptable to pose for a photo op on a gunboat at the border while the President he berated for not going to the border tries to find a humanitarian solution to the current crisis involving children. How Perry's photo op plays out with the American People in the long run remains to be seen. In the meantime, ten of thousands of children are in desperate need of care, reassurance, nutrition and housing, none of which can be provided from a gunboat.