An Arizona sheriff who suggested recently that many of the underage illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border are also violent gang members was taken to task Wednesday morning by a CNN anchor.

“Why paint them all with that brush?” CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu. “Why prejudice the population with what may be true just about a few?”

“Why don't we solve the core issue?” Babeu replied. “The core issue is this is an unsecured border. … If you want to get to the discussion of not just the humanitarian issue but the long-term issue of the 11 million to 20 million illegals who are here, secure the border first.”

“That's true and it has to be addressed, but do you address it by villainizing these kids?” the CNN anchor continued. “You're writing them off as gang members. … You're making it sound like it's a given that you're going to get new gangbangers in your community. You know that's how it's coming across to many people. You haven't even met these kids!”

“Do I have a right to know who those kids are?” the law enforcement official asked.

“But do you have a right to suggest who they are when you don't know?” Cuomo responded. “Don't fearmonger.”

“The federal government should be answering these questions,” Babeu said. “I'm not the villain here.”

Meanwhile, Americans have grown increasingly impatient with Washington's handling of the crisis.

Fifty-eight percent of likely voters in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll say they are unhappy with President Obama's handling of the issue, with 54 percent of Latino respondents agreeing.

Further, a much larger 66 percent of survey respondents say they are deeply unhappy with how Republican lawmakers have reacted to the surge on the border. Self-identified Republican respondents in the Washington Post poll are split evenly in their opinion of how GOP leaders have dealt with the problem, with half approving and half disapproving.

(H/T: Mediaite)