The White House has admitted that President Barack Obama has no announced plans to visit overcrowded border-area detention facilities holding tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children when he flies into Texas next week to raise money for Democrats.
Obama’s excuse is that he is “well aware” of the escalating disaster involving thousands of human beings on the long border between the United States and Mexico, reports the Daily Mail.
“The president has a very good sense of what’s happening at the border,” said press secretary Josh Earnest at Friday’s press briefing. “He’s getting regular updates from his officials who’ve traveled to that region. They’re focused on solving this problem.”
In an appearance on Fox News, Texas Gov. Rick Perry extended an invitation, of sorts, to Obama to see the border crisis and the unaccompanied minors trapped in detention centers for himself.
“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, according to the Mail.
“I haven’t even had a phone call from this president,” Perry added.
Earnest seemed to hint that the possibility of a surprise appearance at the detention facilities is possible.
Obama “wouldn’t rule it out until the day of,” the press secretary said.
“If there are any changes to the schedule, we’ll let you know.”
Earnest suggested that opponents of illegal immigration should “lend their public support to comprehensive immigration reform.” He also observed that Obama cabinet members, including Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, have recently seen the border situation firsthand.
A comprehensive immigration reform bill has passed the Senate but currently sits idle in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Obama’s announced plan is to focus almost exclusively on his specialty: fundraising.
His first Democratic fundraiser in Texas will occur in Dallas.
Then, it’s off to the luxurious Austin home of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez — director of “Machete,” and “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D” and “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D.” Tickets to the soiree are priced between $5,000 and $32,400.
The next day, Obama will join a roundtable discussion with Aimee Boone Cunningham of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Tickets for that event, also in Austin, cost $32,400 as well.
In another Texas-related event, the president is meeting with a citizen who wrote him a letter. This citizen is from Texas. The letter lauds Obama’s economic strategies. (RELATED: Obama Economy Shrivels In First Quarter Of 2014)
On the Fourth of July, Obama is scheduled to officiate over a citizenship ceremony for legal immigrants who served in the U.S. military and will now become American citizens.
The group of 25 service members from all four main military branches includes 15 active-duty members, two veterans, a reservist and seven spouses, according to Fox News.
The service members represent 15 different nations.
Approximately 52,000 children have made their way to the United States in the past year in attempts to enter the country illegally.
Last week, notes the Mail, Obama said he would send additional border patrol agents to Texas. Despite calls by Republicans, he has refused to deploy the National Guard.
Most of the unaccompanied children are coming from Central American nations. The Obama administration recently announced over $250 million in new financial assistance to those countries.