Arizona Lawmaker Reacts to Detention of Hundreds of Immigrant Children

Friday, June 20, 2014

Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of immigrant children are being held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center. June 18, 2014 (Ross D. Franklin-Pool/Getty)

On Wednesday, the country got its first glimpse of the immigration detention centers in Arizona and Texas where hundreds of child migrants are being held in chain link holding cells topped with razor wire. 

The images sparked renewed outrage from lawmakers, who demanded answers from the Department of Homeland Security on how the children were being handled and what plans had been made for their release. 

More than 1,000 migrant children have been shipped to the Nogales, Arizona holding center alone, and state officials are less than pleased with the scarlet "I" the center is casting on their border town.

Senator Kelli Ward, a Republican state senator representing Arizona's 5th district, reflects on the consequences of having these migrant children in the state’s custody, and what federal policy is necessary to address the crisis.


Kelli Ward


T.J. Raphael

Comments [8]

John from Boston

The people commenting on this are completely removed from reality. This crisis was caused by all the loose talk of an amnesty in this country, by the Obama administration, Senator Schumer and the rest. And the law that makes deporting minor children difficult. That law should be scrapped immediately. It was NOT caused by any fundamental changes in Central America. The criminal gangs there just saw a way to take advantage of US stupidity, and did so, and the Obama administration has stupidly allowed the US to be played for a sucker. And some of these "innocent kids" are in fact gang members themselves; how could the US government possibly allow such vermin to stay in this country???

Are the bleeding hearts here remotely aware of what will happen if the US continues to let minor children in like this? Soon millions of people from China, India, Africa and the rest of the world will be flying to Mexico and Central America with their children, and then doing the same thing, namely using the children as pawns to get a toehold in the US and claim citizenship and all the food stamps and medical care and the rest that they can, for "free". Bend over US taxpayer, here it comes again.

I would ask the bleeding hearts: How many millions of illiterate, unskilled third world people would be enough for you? Ten million? Twenty million? 100 million??? It is bad enough that twenty million American citizens are out of work, our economy is in a shambles, Social Security is facing bankruptcy and the public and private pension systems have all but collapsed; but the bleeding hearts want to make things even worse by importing third world poverty! Why don't you bleeding hearts just go live in a third world country, since you apparently like that standard of living so much? The vast majority of US citizens, however, want the immigration laws enforced and the invasion stopped, and in a democracy that should matter.

Jun. 21 2014 12:50 PM
Julie from NYC

Wow, Senator Ward is so completely out of touch. Even if you are able to convince yourself that this is not humanitarian issue, she is still completely out of touch at the contributions to our society that the undocumented workers make.

She speaks so freely of what the rest of the country things... She is wrong. In New York City we have a ton of undocumented workers. Our economy relies on them.

She is kidding herself to think that they don't. Any farming in this country relies heavily on undocumented workers. This keeps your grocery bill low. Low wage workers often do the jobs - low paying, back breaking, unpleasant jobs that most people don't want. You like that low priced chicken - undocumented workers. Strawberries for $3 or less a pint - undocumented workers. Childcare, meat processing plants, farms, construction - get rid of your undocumented workers and we will all pay more.

Jun. 20 2014 03:38 PM
Michelangelo from Miami FL

In Florida there's two immigration policies. Cubans are allowed to slip through or get smuggled in and as long as they touch the shore they can stay - which is all the time. Haitians and others are turned back.

To curb the influx of Haitians the US is forcing the Dominican Republic through economic means to accept Haitians and even telling the Dominican government that they MUST give citizenship to Haitians who have entered illegally.

So we have a two-tiered immigration policy for ourselves and a anti-sovereignty immigration policy for smaller nations with no political power to fight it.

Jun. 20 2014 03:27 PM
STUART from lake stevens, wa

This is far from only a immigrant problem. This is a trade policy problem. You have left out the fact that this all stems from our Free Trade that put the farmers out of work by flooding their markets leaving them without jobs. The fathers had to leave, then the mothers and now the children. I hope that the whole story is reported to give it context.

Jun. 20 2014 01:15 PM
John Burns from Lane County, Oregon

Dear John Hockenbery,
Your interview with Senator Kelli Ward was not informative to listeners. It was a waste of time. You did not ask Kelli Ward what a secure border actually means and how the federal government is not enforcing immigration laws Does Kelli Ward want to militarize the border to be similar to the old Berlin Wall? Does she want U.S. tax payers to pay more to have more patrols on the southern border? John, you are suppose to be an experienced professional interviewer. It seems like you were just going through the motions with this interview. Why should I spend time listening to you? Instead of listening to your show, I think I will spend more time reading the newspaper.

Jun. 20 2014 01:11 PM
Bradd Swank

This woman is offensive. Preaching her anti-human, anti-American, anti-children filth on NPR.. .and why does NPR continue to run programs like "take away" that appear to support unopposed garbage like this. This woman should be deported. And, maybe NPR shouldn't be getting a donation this year?

Jun. 20 2014 12:38 PM
Bev from Miami

John, when did Florida stop being a border state without immigration issues? Have you forgotten when Florida is located? Have you never heard of Miami? It's time for you to bone up on your geography and to look at issues outside what appears to be your very narrow purview.

Jun. 20 2014 09:37 AM

The situation in Arizona is a humanitarian crisis and this senator clearly has only a political agenda to adhere to and it can be heard in her refusal to call these "people" children. There are toddlers being warehoused on American soil! I don't know how she gets to sleep at night.

Jun. 20 2014 09:30 AM

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