(CNSNews.com) - President Obama was "being deceitful" when he told the American people in 2011 that the U.S. border is secure, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) told "Fox News Sunday."
"The American people understand and appreciate, given the events over the past couple of weeks, that the president was being deceitful with the American people on this.
There's a human tragedy going on the Southern border right now, and the president's doing nothing. What did he do this weekend to correct that? He gave a hyper-partisan commencement speech and then went and played golf.
"That's the frustration that my constituents have and the American people have," Price continued. "This is a president who is disengaged on solving this challenge of immigration."
Price said Republicans want to work with the president: "But how can you work with somebody that the American people don't trust on this issue and we can't trust on this issue because we know that he hasn't enforced the law of the land already?"
In a speech in El Paso, Texas in May 2011, President Obama declared the U.S. border was secure, and he said it was time to concentrate on immigration reform. He even mocked Republicans for their concern about border security:
"I want everybody to listen carefully to this," Obama said. "We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader (immigration) reform as long as we got serious about (border) enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time.
"You know, they said we needed to triple the Border Patrol. Or now they’re going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol. Or they’ll want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. (Laughter.) Maybe they want alligators in the moat. (Laughter.) They’ll never be satisfied."
The mass influx of Central American children crossing into the United States in recent months has forced the Obama administration to start retrofitting military bases to house them.
More than 47,000 children traveling alone have been found at the U.S.-Mexico border since the start of the budget year in October, the Associated Press reported. President Obama has called it a "humanitarian crisis."
The AP also reported that an assistant chief patrol agent, Eligio "Lee" Pena, sent an email to more than 3,000 Border Patrol agents warning them not to speak to reporters without permission.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske told the AP on Friday he was not aware of Pena's email warnings but said generally, "I am not a fan of telling people not to talk." He did not formally disavow the directive but added that Border Patrol agents should be focused on their jobs while on duty.
Pena's email was issued as national news organizations descended on the border to cover the immigration surge, especially children crossing the border alone from Central America.