A Democratic senator criticized President Donald Trump for his call to block a caravan of migrants from reaching the United States and said the United States should help the mass of people moving northward through Mexico.
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland was interviewed on CNN Tuesday.
“America’s strength is in our values,” says Sen. @BenCardinforMD: “We have been a leader standing up for people at risk. If they qualify for asylum…there should be a process by which that case could be heard in a fair manner, protecting the individuals.” https://t.co/5y31ZFNOE4 pic.twitter.com/LMwCVHhydk
— New Day (@NewDay) October 23, 2018
The caravan started off with about 1,600 people when it left Honduras. It later swelled to 4,000 when it reached Mexico. Although Honduran officials said 2,000 people gave up heading north and turned back, the size of the caravan has grown as it moves through Mexico. It currently numbers about 7,000 people, CNN reported.
Cardin said the U.S. needs to invest more in stabilizing Central America and that the thousands trekking northward deserve assistance.
Trump, however, had already addressed that point Monday during a White House press availability, according to a White House media pool report.
“Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador — they’re paid a lot of money,” the president said. “Every year, we give them foreign aid. And they did nothing for us. Nothing. They did nothing for us. So we give them tremendous amounts of money. You know what it is; you cover it all the time: hundreds of millions of dollars. They, like a lot of others, do nothing for our country.”
“I don’t know what’s going on with Mexico. I guess it looks like the people are walking right through the middle of Mexico, so I’m not exactly thrilled there either,” Trump added.
Cardin called for an entirely different approach than Trump’s call to stop the migrants before they reach the U.S.
“The people that are in this caravan, many are in desperate situations. It’s a humanitarian need — the United States should be out there to try to help. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they can come live in America, but we certainly should not be using the language the president is in regards to the caravan,” he said.
“But when people are desperately showing up at our border, they should have a receptive audience from the United States to try to deal with their needs. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they can come and live in America, but it does mean that we have a process to deal with people who are at risk,” Cardin said.
Trump has said that criminals, drug dealers and other undesirable individuals have mingled with those in the caravan seeking a better life.
“You’re going to find MS-13, you’re going to find Middle Eastern, you’re going to find everything. And guess what? Were not allowing them in our country. We want safety. We want safety,” Trump said Monday.
Cardin said Trump is “not telling the truth about the caravan,” CNS News reported.
“So he has made a case by misstating the facts in order to get Americans to believe in a nationalist strategy rather than being more universal in dealing with humanitarian needs,” Cardin said.
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