Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, several times has invited Obama to visit the border to get a first-hand grasp of the crisis involving tens of thousands of unaccompanied children flooding across the border into the United States.
So far, Obama has yet to accept - even as he plans a trip to the Lone Star State this week to attend fundraisers benefiting House and Senate Democrats up for re-election this fall. On Thursday morning, Obama also plans to deliver remarks on the economy at a theater in Austin.
“Schedules sometimes change and if they do we'll let you know, but right now there is no plan to visit the border while he's in Texas,” Earnest said.
Pressed on whether it was appropriate to headline fundraisers in Texas while the state is grappling with the humanitarian crisis at its southern border, Earnest said administration officials are focused on the problem and Obama is getting regular updates.
Obama last week announced plans to bypass Congress and unilaterally change the nation's immigration laws because he said House Republicans have failed to act on a comprehensive overhaul. He tasked his senior staff to come up with concrete proposals for the executive actions and signaled he would likely step up deportations at the border but dial back the number of illegal immigrants sent back to their home countries who are already in the United States.
The announcement infuriated Republicans who blame a previous Obama immigration executive action for the current border crisis. The president's pledge to again go it alone also came shortly after Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced plans to sue Obama over alleged executive overreach.
Obama will head to Texas Wednesday after headlining a fundraiser in Denver the same day.
On Monday, the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will host a group of teachers at the White House for lunch to “discuss the administration's efforts to ensure that every student is taught by an effective educator,” the White House said over the weekend.
On Tuesday, he will meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the White House ahead of the NATO summit to be held in Wales in September.