Rep. Cuellar: 'We Don't Need to Have Photos'

By Susan Jones | July 10, 2014 | 10:30am EDT

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) (AP File Photo)

( - Rep. Henry Cuellar, the Texas Democrat who says President Obama has been slow to respond to the immigration crisis, on Thursday said there's no need for President Obama to be photographed at the border, if and when he goes there:

"I'm hoping that if he doesn't make it this time, that sometime in the future he can go in. We don't need to have photos," Cuellar told Fox News. He also noted that some Border Patrol stations "don't allow cameras, so we don't have to worry about cameras there."

Cuellar said he wants Obama to visit the overwhelmed border "so he can talk to the young kids"; give the Border Patrol "a pat for the great work that they're doing"; and thank the "poor communities on the border" for the burdens they're bearing.

"Do you know that every day in Laredo they're releasing about 250 individuals at bus stations, and if you include the (Rio Grande) Valley, that's another 250. Five hundred individuals every day, they send them over to a bus station, they buy a bus ticket they go to Alexandria, Va., they go to New Jersey, New York -- they go to different parts, waiting for a hearing that might take years before they have that hearing."

Cuellar said he would welcome the deployment of National Guard troops to the border, as Gov. Rick Perry has requested, but he said those troops would only provide "support services." They wouldn't secure the border, he said, because most of the people who are turning themselves in can't be turned away immediately. They collect their "notice to appear" in immigration court -- and then many of them disappear.

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Cuellar said he will review Obama's request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending "very carefully."

He raised objections to one provision already: "Why is there $200,000 to pay a media specialist to handle media (callers) that speak Spanish? I'm sure the State Department has somebody that can speak Spanish. We shouldn't be wasting money..."

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