Ahead of his first major foreign trip since taking office, President Barack Obama is trying to calm the political waters ahead of his planned trip to Asia next month.
He said Tuesday he will visit China and the Philippines on May 18.
Obama has repeatedly stressed that his administration is focused on preventing the entry of foreign nationals into the United States to hurt Americans.
The administration has also taken steps to crack down on visa fraud and to boost border security.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president will continue to focus on enforcement.
“We’re going to continue to enforce our laws, but we’re also going to do everything we can to make sure that our nation is protected and that we have the infrastructure to ensure that we can keep our communities safe,” Earnest told reporters in the White House briefing room.
Earnest did not provide specifics about the number of visa-holders he would meet.
He said he expected there would be more visas for the president’s visit than for his previous one.
During the campaign, Obama promised to “ban the door” to foreign nationals coming into the country, but he has since backed away from that promise.
His administration has sought to limit immigration from certain countries in the Middle East, Africa and Central America.
In recent months, several Democratic senators have criticized the administration’s response to the visa-overstaying crisis.
Republicans have also questioned Obama’s decision to use executive powers to suspend travel to the U.S. for six months.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted Tuesday that Obama should not have used the power.
We’ve been asking for months for an end to the #sanctuary policies, yet instead he continues to enforce them.
pic.twitter.com/y0c4zXhTbA — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 25, 2021Democrats have called for the Obama administration to do more to help U.s. workers.
Earlier this month, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., called on the Obama White House to launch a “vast task force” to look at ways to “make immigration enforcement work for the American people.”