WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama is not planning to visit the U.S.-Mexico border while he is in Texas next week for Democratic fundraisers.
“Right now there is no plan for him to visit the border while he’s in Texas,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, adding that schedules do sometimes change.
Earnest added: “This president is obviously very attuned to what’s happening at the border. The president is getting regular updates on the situation.”
The White House response came after Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Fox News that Obama must see first-hand the humanitarian crisis that is taking place at the border.
“If he doesn’t come to the border, I think it’s a real reflection of his lack of concern of what’s really going on there,” Perry said. “If the president of the United States is really serious about securing that border, we can show him how to do that. But I haven’t even had a phone call from this president.”
More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained after crossing the Texas-Mexico border since October in what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis. Many are under the impression that they will receive leniency from U.S. authorities.
With Texas unable to handle the full influx, immigrants are being housed in Arizona, Oklahoma and California.
Obama announced on Monday that he will be taking executive actions to fix as much of the immigration system as he can on his own.
Even as he blamed House Republicans for frustrating him on immigration, Obama asked Congress for more money and additional authority to deal with the unexpected crisis of a surge of unaccompanied Central American youths arriving by the thousands at the Southern border. Obama wants flexibility to speed the youths’ deportations and $2 billion in new money to hire more immigration judges and open more detention facilities, requests that got a cool reception from congressional Republicans and angered advocates.
The CS Monitor reports that Obama will be in Austin and Dallas on July 9 and July 10 for the fundraisers.