McCain: Obama ‘Going to Texas Without Going to Border?’

U.S. Border Patrol agents near a section of U.S.-Mexico border fence in La Joya, Texas.

Photograph by John Moore/Getty Images

U.S. Border Patrol agents near a section of U.S.-Mexico border fence in La Joya, Texas.

President Barack Obama is bound for Texas this week.

To raise some money for his party’s congressional campaigns.

Republicans are suggesting a detour: To the border, where tens of thousands of children from Central America have arrived without parents, placing an extraordinary strain on emergency housing and hearings in detention centers.

“Going to Texas, without going to the border,”Arizona Sen. John McCain said today of Obama’s itinerary. “I don’t know how you do that — go to fundraisers and don’t go to the border and see for yourself how we are being inundated by tens of thousands.”

The White House has said that there are no plans for a border visit as Obama travels to Dallas on Wednesday for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser and then on to Austin for a Democratic National Committee event.  He will be arriving in Texas via Colorado, with an appearance at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event in Denver.

McCain commented today with a call-in to KFYI News/Talk Radio in Phoenix.

Asked at the White House press briefing a little later today about the “optics” of the president’s trip, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said: “We”re not worried about those optics.”

The president is `very aware of what is happening” along the Southwest border, he said.

“It’s unacceptable,” Obama’s erstwhile 2008 election opponent said of the influx of children. “We should tell these countries in Central America, no more aid, no more acceptance, nothing,” until they get it under control.

 

`As you know, I’ve been for comprehensive immigration reform,” McCain said. “You can’t do that unless you have secure borders. … That’s why border enforcement has got to happen.”

Asked about the prospect of the president undertaking some comprehensive immigration reforms under his own executive authority, the senator said:  `We have to take him to court, is one of our only options. The other is to attempt to override that with the votes in Congress… I can’t imagine that even some of our Democratic friends would want to sit by and let this happen.”

The White House said today that Obama will present a supplemental budget request to Congress and additional authority for confronting the border emergency tomorrow.  The White House spokesman said, “We should see some bipartisan support for this.” There are“humanitarian” concerns about what is happening on the border, he said, “while enforcing the law” is also a priority.

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