Congressman Byron Donalds to visit southern border to see child migrant crisis
LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Southwest Florida Congressman Byron Donalds said exclusively he’s headed to the U.S. southern border to see the child migrant crisis first hand.
His trip comes just days after NBC2 reported that some of those unaccompanied children may be headed to Florida. The federal government is interested in moving as many as 1,000 children to Florida to help with the overcrowding.
Donalds called scenes at the border a burden to the U.S., but he refused to call it a humanitarian crisis. He blames the mass migration of children traveling without their parents on President Joe Biden.
“What it’s going to do is put an additional burden, and we’re already under an additional burden from COVID-19,” Donalds said.
Video from border patrol showed an 8-year-old boy left alone near the border and pleaded with a border patrol agent for help.
“I think this is a political crisis,” Donalds said. “Listen, the conditions that are happening south of the border have always taken place.”
Yet he said he solely blames President Biden for the current situation.
“The president needs to follow the law and execute the law,” Donalds said. “That would actually stop a lot of this.”
Immigration Attorney Indera DeMine who operates in Fort Myers said the U.S. is absolutely not breaking any laws.
“It’s not as though they show up to the border and everyone is just let in as a free for all,” DeMine said.
She pointed out that under U.S. immigration law the kids have a right to seek asylum.
“If they’re found credible they’re allowed into the United States to peruse their asylum plea,” DeMine stated.
However, the Trump administration did force many to wait in Mexico for their hearings. DeMine said she does agree with the congressman that the surges are nothing new.
“Surges like this happened under the Trump administration and under the Obama administration and the Bush administration,” DeMine said. “It does have to do with the conditions in the home country.”
No one knows that better than Ada Rodrigues, who has fostered migrant children for several years.
“Sometimes they don’t have food,” Rodrigues said. “They sleep on the floors. They don’t have the conditions or lift. They are very poor.”
Rodrigues herself, a Honduran immigrant, said she shares a special bond with the kids.
“Like us, we came here to have a better future for our sons,” Rodrigues said.
A future she’s now sharing with the children in her care.
The most recent numbers show there are now 20,000 migrant kids in U.S. custody. That is a new record the Biden administration is dealing with.
Former President Trump stopped all people including kids from crossing the border in 2020 citing COVID-19.
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