President Barack Obama "owns" the crisis in the southern United States whether or not he visits the border where thousands of immigrants are crossing into the country illegally, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar said on Fox News.
Cuellar, a Democrat, has been outspoken about the need for Obama to proactively address the crisis. The president is scheduled to go to Texas on Wednesday for a series of fund-raising events and has no plans to visit the border, although he has agreed to meet with Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
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"I think he's caught in a dilemma. If he goes down there, he owns the problem. But, if he does this long distance and sends surrogates down there, he still owns it," Cuellar told "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday.
Cuellar said the president needs to "talk to the community leaders" grappling with the situation along the southern border. "I think that a leader will be defined by how he handles a challenge," Cuellar said. "He ought to be meeting with the border leaders."
Cuellar said he did not favor a wall along the southern U.S. border, but maintained there was a need for increased Border Patrol and surveillance equipment. He said there were ways to secure the border "without impeding trade and commerce down there....You certainly have to have more sensors, more cameras down there."
Cuellar said he had been contacted by the White House about his outspoken comments regarding the border crisis, but, "I'm more concerned about my constituents that want to find a practical solution to this question that we're facing down there at the border."
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