(CNSNews.com) -- When asked on Tuesday whether President Barack Obama should visit the U.S.-Mexico border during his fundraising trip to Texas this week, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he did not “think that would hurt,” but indicated that Obama is concerned a visit would be perceived as a “photo op.”
“You know, I think visiting the border, I don’t think that would hurt,” Hoyer said during a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill. “I think that would send a signal of his concern, but he is very concerned. He’s indicated that (pause) going to the border would be a (pause) I don’t want to sound too cynical, but a photo op.”
Hoyer continued, “The president has been spending a lot of time and effort. Jeh Johnson, the secretary [of Homeland Security] has gone down there, the vice president went down to Central America. Clearly this administration is very, very engaged.”
“Nobody has to go to the border – I haven’t been to the border – nobody has to go to the border to know we have a lot of children presenting themselves at the border,” he said.
“I don’t think the president going to the border per say could escalate his attention to this matter,” Hoyer added. “He’s very seized of this issue.”
Obama is scheduled to arrive in Texas on Wednesday afternoon for a trip largely dedicated to helping raise funds for Democratic members of Congress. He will also hold a meeting on Wednesday in Dallas, which is hundreds of miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border, to discuss the illegal immigration crisis with state officials, a move intended by the administration to “avoid awkward optics at the border,” according to the Associated Press.
Obama’s visit to Texas comes on the heels of his request for $3.7 million in emergency funding to help deal with the thousands of illegal immigrants, most of them from Central America, pouring across the Southwest U.S. border.