California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) spoke out Monday on the surge of immigrant children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, criticizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) decision to order National Guard troops to address the crisis.
"This is a human problem, and it has been the religious call of all religions to welcome the stranger, and it's in that spirit that I believe the clergy can call the United States, Mexico and all the players to perhaps a higher response than might otherwise happen," Brown said during a news conference with Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Jose Antonio Meade.
Since October 2013, over 57,000 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended by U.S. border patrol agents for entering the country illegally, with most of the children arriving from Central America. President Barack Obama has requested $3.7 billion to address the crisis.
Perry, who has been among the most vocal critics of the Obama administration's response to the border surge, announced last week his plan to deploy up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the border in order to bolster security. The effort is expected to cost $12 million a month. (Texas plans to bill the federal government for the costs.)
"I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor," he said.
“I hesitate to comment on the thinking that goes into the support of the Texas National Guard on the border," Brown said when asked about Perry's actions. "I would suspect that it will be of a relatively short duration, and wiser minds will prevail over the next several months."
He also emphasized the need to address the larger issues behind the crisis, noting that "we could never solve the problem only at the border."
"My goal is to try as much as I can to frame the issue of the children as a humanitarian challenge," he said. "That should appeal to people of all political persuasions."