CREDIT: US Customs and Border Protection via Flickr.com. Public domain.
When Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and pastor at New Seasons Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, heard the reports from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the inhumane conditions at a migrant border facility she toured in El Paso County, Texas, he was “full of indignation.”
Rodriguez, who has advised the last three presidents (including Trump) on immigration, decided to see for himself. And he was shocked. But not by the conditions at the center. Rather, he was amazed at the misinformation AOC and others have been spreading.
“I read the reports, saw the news clips. I just wanted to see what was actually happening in order to better enable our efforts to find a fair and a just solution to our broken immigration system,” Rodriguez, who has advised President Trump and both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush on immigration reform, noted. “To my surprise, I saw something drastically different from the stories I’ve been hearing in our national discourse. Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border.”
“We found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities,” Rodriguez remarked, adding he specifically asked border agents if they staged the facility in response to the negative press. “They unequivocally denied it — we were witnessing the identical conditions the attorneys saw when they toured the facility days earlier.”
In fact, some told him the sources from whom the negative coverage originated “never toured the areas of the facility that we toured” and speculated they might have had political motivations.
Rodriguez and the group of pastors he took on the tour of the facility noted that the commitment of the border agents — many of whom are hispanic themselves — was inspiring and their pleas to get that word out that they are not monsters as the press has portrayed them was palpable.
“[Rodriguez] said one emotional Border Patrol agent turned to him and said, referring to the vilification: ‘Pastor Sam, what they’re saying about us is completely false. We care about these kids and have a passion for our calling.'”
Video embedded below.