President Obama has dispatched a team to Texas to review whether deploying National Guard troops could help the crisis at the border, White House officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
The team consists of officials from the departments of Defense and of Homeland Security. Reuters reported the team left on Tuesday and would be on the ground at the border on Thursday.
A White House official told Reuters that Obama directed Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelHagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill Hagel to next president: We need to sit down with Putin MORE to send the team to the border to conduct its evaluations and submit recommendations to the administration.
Perry, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, announced earlier this week that he wouldn’t wait for the federal government and would gradually deploy about 1,000 National Guard troops.
Obama is on a fundraising trip to the West Coast and is scheduled to meet with leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras on Friday to discuss the influx of unaccompanied children at the border.
On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, lawmakers are divided over how to respond to the crisis. House Republicans introduced their own plan Wednesday, but it’s unclear if they will tackle it before the August recess.
Most GOP lawmakers want to change a 2008 law to make it easier to send back children who came to the U.S. illegally from Central America. The White House supports such a change, but many Democrats have said they’re against that proposal.