Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) has stepped up his criticism of President Obama for refusing to visit the border during a trip to Texas for a series of fundraisers.
Obama dismissed the idea as a political “photo op” during a speech Wednesday night on the issue.
“I’m not interested in a photo op of the President being there,” Cuellar said on CNN’s New Day this morning. “I’m interested in him looking at the kids.”
Cuellar said that the innocent children with whom he visited had traveled over 1,000 miles to the United States, and he urged Obama to “roll up his sleeves” and visit them himself.
“One-third of the girls have been abused and raped on the way up here. The last young kid was an 11-year-old little boy from Guatemala that died of dehydration. That is the face that I want him to see,” he said, urging the President to visit the border without bringing cameras.
According to Cuellar, he has already received an angry call from the White House after he criticized Obama Wednesday for playing pool in Colorado while the border crisis was underway. “I’m not concerned about who gets angry at me at the White House. I’m more concerned about my constituents, who want to find a practical solution to this question that we’re facing down there at the border,” he said in a Fox and Friends interview Wednesday.
Cuellar pointed out that he was not pleased that Obama’s emergency supplemental funding request from Congress did nothing to help poor communities struggling with the problem of the sudden influx of illegal immigrants. He also pointed out that the crisis was ongoing, although Obama was treating it as an “emergency.”
“This didn’t just happen last night,” he said. “He’s asking for an emergency. If he looks at it, this has been going on for one year or two years. Why is he calling this emergency funding when this happened over a year, two years ago, and he missed…basically the administration missed the uptick that we’re facing at this time?”