On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – the duo spoke to U.S. Rep. Mark Green, a Republican congressman representing Tennessee’s Seventh Congressional District, who weighed in on his recent visit to the El Paso southern border.
Gill: Congressman Mark Green has been down in the border over the last several days and is on our newsmakers line with a little report of what’s going on down there. And it’s not just Guatemalans, Hondurans, Mexicans, El Salvadorans. There are people from all over the world that are coming across the border that continues to be wide open while the Democrats continue to declare there is no crisis. We need no wall. Mark, thanks for being on the line with us this morning.
Green: Good to talk with you, Steve. Thanks for having me on the show.
Gill: It is disturbing that when we find that in that same border area that is unrestricted. That is uncontrolled. That is wide open and that the Democrats want to keep that way, that we’ve got Somalis down in that border region. Are weapons coming across? Are more terrorists coming across?
I know your focus was on what are the conditions down there, but it has to be disturbing, particularly as a former military guy, to know the same folks that we’ve been fighting in the war on terror are apparently able to come right across our border and bring whatever they want with them.
Green: Yeah, there was a guy from Iraq in a detention ICE facility that we toured yesterday. Last night I was doing a ride-along with border patrol and we picked up a family from Brazil who had flown. I mean they had the means to pay for airline fair from Brazil to Panama and then from Panama on to Cancun. From Cancun, they did a combination of buses and walking. And just came across the border last night.
And so they’re a family unit and as that passes muster through the systems that CPB has put together using DNA and limits situations. That family will be released in America. They will just be turned to lose pending a court date three years from now which they probably will not show up for.
Gill: And in the meantime, they’ll most likely, because we’re not checking very closely, get on the social welfare system. And we’ll be providing housing, and food, and healthcare, and other education benefits. There was a story just yesterday Mark about the fact that you’ve apparently got pregnant women staging themselves right across the border in Mexico and then waiting until they’re ready to give birth then presenting themselves to the ICE agents so that their baby can be born in the US in an American hospital with taxpayers funding it.
And that child is immediately an American citizen and then the mom can use that as the wedge to wedge herself into status in the country. Did you have any discussions with the agents, the border patrol about this kind of staging process that we’re seeing to take advantage of our loophole on birthright citizenship?
Green: No. We actually did not have that conversation but there were a lot of very similar scenarios that they were presenting. Interestingly enough, the local representative here, the US Congresswoman from El Paso was out there broadcasting to the immigrants and migrants of how to avoid the actual laws. It’s just unbelievable. And the lies about the conditions. You know the mechanisms that people are using to get around our laws. It’s disturbing.
Gill: Now did you tour any of these detention facilities where we’ve had Ocasio-Cortez and others claiming that people have been forced to drink from toilet bowls? Did you see any of these facilities?
Green: Yeah actually went into the cell that supposedly AOC had said the woman was drinking from the toilet. I went in and it’s the sink. And apparently in talking to the CPB guy who was standing right there. Her Spanish must be a little bit different than Guatemalan Spanish because he clearly heard the woman say I took a drink from the bathroom. There’s water in the bathroom. And of course, AOC thought she said the toilet. But you walk in and there’s a sink above and a toilet below.
Gill: So technically she did drink from the toilet but it was from the top of the toilet not in the toilet bowl?
Green: No, it wasn’t really the toilet. The sink above the toilet. So I go in my bathroom all the time and get a cup of water and drink out of my sink. I’m drinking out of the bathroom but I’m not drinking out of the toilet. That’s essentially the scenario. What’s really frightening is how the liberal media immediately believes these people. And it’s the cages argument which they were actually using pictures from Barack Obama.
And interestingly ABC News has an article today about the 2020 debate and how you can’t believe some of the Democrats. And they specifically talked about this incident. And that’s ABC news. When ABC News are calling out the lies it’s getting better for us. But still, it’s just unbelievable some of the stuff. I’ll give you an example.
One of the CPB guys shared a story where a mother left her baby and ran away to try to get away to escape, leaving her small child. The CPB guy picks up the baby, at this point the Democrat visitor see’s that and says that very loudly, “Oh, he’s taking their child away.” I mean there’s just story after story of the distortions.
Gill: But they’ve told the lies so loud and so long that that’s what most people believe because the corrections aren’t getting much attention.
Gill: What’s the solution? Are Democrats going to rise up and start funding taking better care? There was a picture I think of you on the border where literally the fence just ends and you just walk around it.
Green: And that’s where we were in that section last night and that is the main section where 400 at a time have tried to come over. Yeah, right there at the end of the fence. It’s crazy.
Gill: What’s the solution? Will Democrats ever step up or do they want to play political advantage rather than take care of America?
Green: Oh, they want an open border, Steve. And all this is just clearly them trying to get us to a point where there’s open borders. I mean when you argue with a Democrat about healthcare you have to keep in the back of your head that their ultimate goal is universal healthcare. When you talk to them about immigration, well listen, they don’t care about any of the intermediate rules. They want full open borders.
Gill: They care more about illegals than those living in their districts. I’m concerned that our border agents are being smeared. Are being slandered by the left. They’re being blamed for everything. They’re doing heroic efforts to save the lives of those who are illegally entering our country and falsely claiming asylum.
By some accounts 30 percent of those who are bringing children aren’t actually related to the kids they’re using to get across the border. What is the moral and the attitude of the border agents as they’re being subjected to these vile attacks by the left?
Green: Well first let me verify that statistic you just gave about fraudulent families. It is 30 percent. One-third are either grabbed, kidnapped children or rented children we were told by ICE yesterday. In terms of the morale of the troops so to speak, you know they’re angry about the lies. They expressed frustration about the media. But man, the actions of our President has gotten these guys fired up.
The volume is significantly down and they all attributed it to down here to the tariff threats. And Mexico’s military deployed everyone. I mean we saw multiple outposts of Mexican national guardsmen on the other side of the border in areas keeping people down. So the volume is significantly lower. So they credit that to Trump and his tariff threats and they’re excited about that kind of stuff. These are great Americans. They love the country.
They believe in what they do. They believe in the law. And if you ask them what’s the number one thing to get fixed it’s that Congress has to fix the asylum laws. And that’s absolutely correct. This is Pelosi and all those guys when they wanted to say it was an imaginary crisis. They used the words manufactured. And they were trying to say this was imaginary. There was no crisis at the border when there really was a crisis at the border.
But the truth of the matter is, it’s manufactured in a way because that onslaught of people coming to America in that fashion is because we made Congress say, I wasn’t there then, Congress passed laws that create these incentives. Basically, a child becomes a Visa. And as I described that family from Brazil last night that we apprehended.
They are going to go a few days here in El Paso in a detention facility and then they are released into the country. And that’s it! That’s their immigration process. And it’s a failure on Congress that has created this unbelievable and unprecedented migration crisis. And it’s a humanitarian crisis too as we talked about earlier.
Gill: And then when we have these folks show up for their court hearings they present their case. They’re denied. I mean, 85 percent-plus of these cases are going to be denied because they don’t qualify for asylum under the law if they ever show up three years later to their court hearing.
And then when they’re ordered deported we still don’t deport them because you’ve got the left who’s objecting to deporting people who have had their day in court, presented their case. A judge has ruled. They’ve been ordered deported. And then the idea of ICE rounding them up and sending them home, that get’s met with opposition and objections by the left.
Green: Yeah. It’s as I said earlier. The only goal for the Democrats is an open border. A totally open border. No sovereignty to the United States of America. It’s absurd. It is absolutely absurd.
Gill: And we not only have these activists in these foreign countries, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador that are basically urging people. “Go to the United States! Say this and you’ll get in!” As you’ve pointed out, we’ve got members of our US Congress who are down on the border trying to facilitate illegal behavior.
Is there any opportunity for Congress to take action against these members of Congress who are betraying their oath of office?
Green: You know I haven’t heard any conversations about that. Right now, the focus is on fixing the law itself. That is the big issue. fixing the law itself. In terms of those congressmen, we are devising a plan to take back the House. And that’s why I’m not running for the US Senate. I want to make sure that Republicans are in control of the House as soon as possible. So that’s the big battle there.
Gill: When you look at the political climate, there’s a lot of talk about what California thinks. What New York thinks. A lot of the moderate, so-called moderate Democrats are terrified at what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and others are doing as portraying the face of the Democratic party. As you talk with your fellow Democrat members of Congress that are more moderate, are they expressing those concerns to you?
Green: Yeah, they roll their eyes. They don’t talk out loud much about it. And maybe very isolated cases, but we’ll be in a conversation with those that are considered moderate and their just roll their eyes and kind of shake their head. It’s clear they’re disgusted by it but they really can’t say much.
Gill: And they can’t run far enough and fast enough from their own party perhaps to save their hide. Perhaps that’s the idea. I think there are 31 Democrats that got elected last year in districts that President Trump won. And they’ve got to face the music with him on the ballot next year. And that presents a great opportunity for Republicans to retake the House and claw that gavel back from Nancy Pelosi.
Listen to the full hour:
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