Appearing last night on Shannon Bream’s program, Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, exuded both compassion and common sense. He also directly contradicted the statements made by Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez following her visit to the El Paso County migrant detention center at the border following his own visit.
All in all, the Reverend seems like a man that is without a political agenda. Unlike the freshman Representative, he wants solutions not political rhetoric about the current crisis at the border. He did confirm that he heard many of the concerns from staff that was echoed in the DHS IG report. However, he noted these are born of extraordinary circumstances that have been allowed to develop:
Congress is playing politics with millions of individuals, the sovereignty of our nation and with the protection of our border. We got here because of apathy. We got here because of politcal expediency. We need to act now.
Rodriguez has the experience to speak on the subject. He has advised the last two Presidents and the current administration on immigration reform. He received permission to visit the Clint, Texas facility directly from the White House based on his concern over recent news reports. According to the interview, he was given full access to the facility, staff and the children housed there. He reports a drastically different picture than the one conjured by Ocasio-Cortez.
He and his team of pastors found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities. He reported that the attorneys who also issued a report regarding conditions never toured it according to the staff. They relied on anecdotal interviews with the children.
His assessment was that the agents, many of whom are Latino, were doing their best in an impossible situation. He characterized them as amazing people trying to make a difficult situation better. One that our political leaders have refused to address.
Even when the White House tries to implement a policy to stem the flow of migrants, they are immediately taken to court by an activist Attorney General or a super helpful NGO. Almost always in front of an activist judge who issues a nationwide ruling.
This crisis has highlighted what is wrong with so many things about our government. District judges who attempt to legislate from the bench in opposition to the Executive branch. A Congress that is so politicized they could barely even provide emergency funding to improve facilities and relieve personnel at the border who are stretched to the limit. And activist Congresswomen more interested in creating issues than solving them so they can tweet about their rage.
I hope Reverend Rodriguez continues making trips to these facilities and providing his honest assessment of what he sees. I hope he continues to use his platform to challenge lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to close the loopholes and eliminate the perverse incentives that are causing the crisis. His reasoned and non-partisan assessment could not be more welcome.
And to the Ocasio-Cortez wing? Get to work. At this point, you are the problem. Your PR stunts are getting tiresome and even the good reverend says your slander of agents doing the best they can with the situation you have allowed to persist is beyond the pale.