On CNN’s News Room Wednesday morning, anchor Carol Costello challenged Paul Babeu, the sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona to defend his decision to make public the fact that a bus would be bringing 40 to 50 unaccompanied immigrant children to the Sycamore Canyon Academy which had agreed to temporarily house them for the federal government.
The bus never arrived on Tuesday as he had warned residents it would, but his warning did result in a group of locals turning out with the intention of blocking the road and refusing to allow the bus to pass plus a contingent of counter protesters who said that they wanted the children to know that not all Americans hate them.
Costello asked Babeu why his office issued a press release, telling people who the bus was coming when the Arizona Republic reported that there had been no notification that any of these children were due to arrive at Sycamore Canyon Academy on Tuesday.
“Well first, I wouldn’t believe the Arizona Republic,” Babeu replied, “what I would believe is this press release from [Sycamore Canyon Academy]. This is the director of the facility.”
Babeu went on to detail what the statement from the school had said, never once mentioning a date when the children might arrive and in fact the Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday that it was only “reviewing a proposal for Sycamore Canyon Academy to serve as one of these shelters,” and that “There were never any plans for unaccompanied children to travel to Oracle today.”
After the Sheriff told Costello that he had an obligation to protect public safety and public health she asked him what the danger was in his mind.
“That’s the question that I’ve raised,” he replied. “I’ve sent letters, faxes, emails, I’ve called myself personally, not one answer from anyone Homeland Security in response to this when we know, in fact they’re coming.”
“I can understand those concerns,” Costello said, “but no one was breaking any laws and it’s your job to enforce the law.”
“And I do enforce the law,” Babeu said with a straight face going on to talk about all of the drugs that pass through his county as if that were in any way connected to these children and then rambling on about the $3.7 billion that is being spent on them, referring to the President’s request which has already been shot down by the House of Representatives.
“What about the laws enforced on you and on me and every other citizen? But when it comes to immigration, there is no law! There is no consequences,” Babeu told her, still painting himself as the innocent victim.
Watch the interview below.