Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) had some choice words for the Obama administration and its handling of the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, where unaccompanied children are crossing in record numbers.
The congressman urged the president to visit the border and get a firsthand look at the issue.
“If you’re going to ask for $3.7 billion and you call it a humanitarian crisis, I think the president should go,” Cuellar told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos on Wednesday.
Cuellar has co-sponsored legislation known as the HUMANE Act, which he said is aimed at stemming the ongoing crisis. The proposal faces an uphill battle in Congress, but Cuellar said he hopes it will pass before the August recess.
The bill would, among other things, allow for Central American children to go through the same “expedited removal” process that applies to Mexican children, and require immigration judges to make a determination as to whether an unaccompanied migrant child is eligible to remain in the United States within 72 hours of making their claim.
“We ought to be paying attention to Latin America,” Cuellar said. “I think what we need to do is help them build up their economies, and fight the drug cartels so the violence can go down.”
Cuellar recalled a 2008 campaign speech by Obama when he criticized former President George W. Bush for initially flying over Louisiana rather than making an official trip to survey the damage from Hurricane Katrina.
Earlier this month, Cuellar questioned the president’s reluctance to visit the border on Fox News, saying he hopes it doesn’t become “Obama’s Katrina moment.”