WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A Texas Democratic congresswoman doesn’t believe President Barack Obama should visit the border.
Speaking with MSNBC on Monday, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, said she doesn’t see the point of the president making a stop at the border to get a firsthand look at the immigration influx.
“I think that he has people in place to take care of that situation. There have been leaders from all over the Congress to visit the border. The Homeland Security has been there,” Johnson told MSNBC. “What would be the point in the president going?”
Johnson believes Obama doesn’t need to go to the border to get more information on the crisis.
“Maybe if he desires to go see it, fine, but he doesn’t have to go there to see it,” Johnson told MSNBC.
Gov. Rick Perry has called on Obama to visit the border this week as the president will be in Dallas and Austin Wednesday and Thursday, raising money for Democratic causes and speaking about the economy.
Obama will also talk with faith leaders and local officials in Texas Wednesday about the border crisis.
Perry turned down a request to meet Obama when he arrives in the state capital on Tuesday, saying he’d like a “substantive meeting” with the president on the immigration crisis.
More than 50,000 unaccompanied minors have been caught on the U.S.-Mexico border this year. Most are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where a spike in violence and poverty are prompting parents to send their children on difficult and dangerous journeys north.
Johnson says that the federal government needs to analyze why scores of young immigrants are illegally crossing the border.
“It is clear we need to find out who is bringing the children, who is making the money,” Johnson told MSNBC. “They are not coming here out of the blue sky. It’s clear it’s an arrangement. And they are looking for relief, and I don’t know if the relief is in this country or not.”
Johnson added that the influx was planned.
“I’m not saying we open our borders, but I do think it takes time to analyze this influx. This was planned. You don’t get four or five thousand children coming to this country from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, which means they traveled through more than one country to get here,” Johnson explained to MSNBC. “They didn’t do this alone.”
Obama has called the situation at the border a “humanitarian crisis.” The White House has warned that most of the children arriving at the border will not be allowed to stay in the U.S.
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