Dem Rep on Border Crisis: Obama ‘Should Have Seen This Coming

'With all due respect to the administration, they are one step behind'

Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) appeared on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley to discuss the border issue.

He accused Obama administration of bungling the refugee crisis on the United States’ southern border, and should have expected the problem.

“With all due respect to the administration, they are one step behind,” he said. “They should have seen this coming a long time ago.”

Cuellar also criticized President Obama for coming to Texas for fundraisers and not visiting the border to see the crisis first hand:  

CROWLEY:  Let me ask you, Congressman, do you think the president will get the $2 billion plus that he's asking for to meet this emergency situation, with more help at the border, more social workers to deal with the children? 

CUELLAR: Well, again, we got Border Patrol securing the border right now, as you can see behind us.

But the president has asked for some money. He certainly can move some moneys around, and we can handle that at the end if we want to. Again, let's keep in mind, with all due respect to the administration, they're one step behind. 

They should have seen this coming a long time ago. They should have seen this a long time ago, because we saw those numbers increasing. We're hoping that we can get that money, so we can provide more detention spaces, more flights down there. And, again, if we put those young children and those mothers and the right caregivers in those countries, I think this would solve -- there is an incentive, there is an incentive that, if you bring a child over here or your child by themselves, you're going to be let go.

And that's exactly what is happening. Our immigration courts are so backlogged, there's not enough detention spaces. And, therefore, this is the incentive that we have to take away. And that's the 2008 human trafficking law that needs to be changed at this time. 

CROWLEY:  Congressman, I want to give the mayor the last word, because I hear him agreeing with you.  But, first, before I leave the congressman, President Obama is coming to Texas this week. As I understand it, at least thus far, he has no plans to visit the border.  How does that strike you? 

CUELLAR: Well, again, it would be nice for him to come down to the border. But, again, with all due respect, I think he still is one step behind.  They knew this was happening a year ago, last year. And, again, they're just over -- they're not reacting fast enough at this time, in my personal opinion.