BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled Monday to Texas's border with Mexico to get a closer look at the nation's immigration crisis.
The Republican governor and likely 2016 presidential candidate was getting a helicopter view of the area, taking a boat tour up the Rio Grande River and speaking with public safety officials about the influx of people illegally crossing into the United States, according to his office.
Jindal wanted to get a "firsthand look at the crisis on the U.S. border and hear from officials on the ground dealing with the situation because of the lack of federal action to secure it," spokeswoman Shannon Bates said in a statement.
Also on the trip were Louisiana's state police superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley. The security briefing and tours were being handled by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"Whether it is illegal drugs, illegal weapons or undocumented immigrants, Louisiana is affected daily by security issues at the Mexico border," Edmonson said in a statement.
Jindal, the son of Indian immigrants who came to the country legally, has criticized the Obama administration for giving him little information about more 1,000 unaccompanied immigrant children who have been placed with sponsors in Louisiana in recent months.
He's blamed President Barack Obama for creating a climate that encouraged larger numbers of people to try to enter the United States illegally and for failing to secure the nation's borders.
Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed sponsors in Louisiana received 1,071 of the more than 30,000 unaccompanied children who crossed the U.S. border from Jan. 1 to July 7.
Jindal is one of several governors to object to the placements. He said the state didn't receive any guidance or resources to ensure the safety and welfare of the children.
Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 57,000 immigrant children crossing the border alone since October, most of them from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Violence in those countries has been blamed for the increased numbers. The children are released to sponsors, usually relatives or family friends, while going through deportation proceedings.
Congress has been unable to agree on a plan for dealing with the immigration crisis.