Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) spoke to Ed Schultz Wednesday on MSNBC’s The Ed Show about the recent protests in Murrieta, California — where the Border Patrol brought three buses carrying 140 detainees there for processing and supervised release through a religious volunteer group, while awaiting appearance in an immigration court. The buses were met by 100-150 protesters waving flags and shouting “Go home” and “We want to be safe.” The buses, carrying mostly women and children, were forced to turn back.
The conversation began with Schultz asking the Congressman what is going on in the Central American countries that is causing these people to flee, despite the dangers involved in dealing with the criminal element that assists them in getting to the U.S. border.
Grijalva explained that the fact that they are willing to take this sort of risk, to escape their native country and attempt to get to the United States should tell us how precarious the conditions in their home country must be.
“To expose yourself to human smugglers and organized crime, when they see that as less of a risk than to survive in their own country, that shows the gravity of what we’re seeing.”
The Congressman notes that these children come from a region which has historically been immersed in perpetual civil war and political unrest, and which is now infested with all kinds of organized criminal enterprises. For these reasons, he explains, we should not be looking at these children the same way as the typical economic refugee — which is what these protesters are doing.
He offered criticism for the Republicans who are saying “we need to treat these kids as we treat other kids, which is to deport other kids,” saying that this is wrong, we cannot treat them the same because we are not sending them back to the same conditions.
“I think they’re just covering themselves, from what we saw in California. And talk radio and the biased Fox Network continue to feed disease, violence, open borders, it’s Obama’s fault to the public, build up that fear, build up that hatred and you saw the tip of the iceberg in California…If we continue to fall backwards on this issue and not do anything, then what we saw in California is going to be replicated along the border.”
Watch Rep. Grijalva on The Ed Show.