Obama heads to Texas, but not to the border


McClatchy Washington Bureau

President Barack Obama announced his request for $3.7 billion to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children illegally crossing the southern border hours before traveling to Texas Wednesday to raise money for Democrats and speak about the economy.

Obama will not visit the border despite an outcry from Republicans for him to do so.

“He needs to go there and see this for himself and not just rely on his advisers, because this is a crisis that's ongoing,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. said at a new conference Tuesday. “Unless we get to the root causes of the crisis, it will get worse. And he needs to lead and not just follow when it comes to coming up with the solutions. And the first thing he needs to do is go to the border tomorrow or Thursday when he's in Texas.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Obama has been to the border on a couple of previous occasions, both as a candidate and as president, and several Cabinet secretaries have visited in recent weeks.

“The president is well aware of exactly what's happening on the border,” he said. “And what we are focused on right now are not political statements...but rather with specific, concrete action, steps that can be taken to mitigate this problem.”

Obama and Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a frequent critic of Obama on immigration, will meet in the Dallas area with state and local officials about border security.

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