(CNN) – Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, said that he's disappointed in President Barack Obama's refusal to visit the southern U.S. border with Mexico.
"It does bother me,” he said on CNN’s “Crossfire” about Obama not visiting the border. “I wish the President of the United States were going down [to the border] and visiting the children and visiting the site tonight."
Gutierrez also distanced himself from the Obama administration's proposal to alleviate the border crisis, adding, "I have some serious questions."
Gutierrez later clarified that he would support the President's proposal conditionally, "As long as it doesn't…weaken the right that the children have to their day in court because some of them we may just return them to death."
He said he would not support legislation by fellow Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar, and Republican Sen. John Cornyn, both of Texas, to repeal the 2008 law that allows juveniles from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to stay and apply for asylum instead of facing immediate deportation like Mexican citizens do.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, suggested the Obama administration's policies were to blame for the escalating violence and child trafficking in northern Mexico.
"It's all because we have an easy access point into the United States of America and you can't deny that when you see what is happening on our southern border right now," Bridenstine said.
More from Crossfire: Dem. questions Obama's immigration proposal