Earlier this month, rookie (and now veteran) Astronaut Jose Hernandez returned to Earth aboard Space Shuttle Discovery after completing mission STS-128, which delivered supplies to the International Space Station and also featured his fellow crew members performing a series of station assembly spacewalks.
Neato mosquito, right? Yet another remarkable achievement for some U.S. Astronauts (and one guy from the European Space Agency)? No doubt.
Unfortunately, Hernandez has decided that now his ride is complete and the rare opportunity he was given to become a member of the U.S. Astronaut Corps has reached a new plateau, that this would be just the perfect time to stick his nose into, of all things, the illegal alien debate.
During a telephone interview with Mexico’s Televisa network, Hernandez pushed for U.S. immigration reform — a key issue for Mexico that has been stalled in Washington amid fierce debate.
“The American economy needs them,” said Hernandez, 47, a California native who toiled in the cucumber, sugar beet and tomato fields alongside his Mexican-born parents. “I believe it’s only fair to find a way to legalize them and give them an opportunity to work openly, so they can also retire in a traditional U.S. system.”
So who does this guy think he is? Well, you see, he is the son of illegal aliens and didn’t learn English until he was 12 years ago. His parents marched him all around California and Mexico, where they illegally crossed the border of the nation whose flag he wears on his flight suit myriad times.
But Mr. Hernandez seems to, based on the quote above, care little about the sovereignty of the nation which has given him so many opportunities and believes that the rule of law and orderly methods of immigration are inappropriate.
“What surprised me is when I saw the world as one. There were no borders. You couldn’t distinguish between the United States and Mexico,” he told Televisa.
Evidently he isn’t aware that the Rio Grande River is a natural border between the United States and Mexico.
But what about NASA, which has invested millions of dollars in Hernandez’s training and enabled him to have this platform from which to spew such inane rhetoric?
NASA spokesman James Hartsfield told The Associated Press that Hernandez was expressing his personal views, “not representing NASA, the astronaut office or any NASA organization in his responses.”
That’s all well and good, but this is a problem that has been on the horizon for many months involving this Astronaut. Indeed, earlier this summer, Hernandez started up his own twitter account where he decided to spend his time twittering primarily in Spanish…to people who are not citizens of the United States…the county which, I may have mentioned, is the one where we would expect he’d feel a primary motivation to share his experiences. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as his “icon” image for the twitter account features him in a launch/entry suit in front of the U.S. flag…and the Mexican flag. We’re all brothers and sisters, you dig?
The ultimate question is if Hernandez’s primary loyalties, as a U.S. Astronaut, rest with the United States. Such a question is made even more curious when he has offered to be an adviser for a future Mexican space agency and will discuss same during a future meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Ultimately, Hernandez needs to limit his public statements to the adventures that the U.S. taxpayers have afforded him and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden needs to take a moment to consider if he wants the U.S. Astronaut Corps populated by people who wear the U.S. flag on their flight suit but use their position to espouse liberal political ideology while embracing lawlessness and a breakdown in the orderly manner with which immigration to the United States has been handled.