Advocate says it’s getting worse along US-Mexico border
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As Vice President Kamala Harris visited the U.S.-Mexican border in El Paso, a long-time border advocate is taking stock of the past month he’s spent on the border.
A pastor and doctor, Hoover has spent 35 years in Arizona and Texas advocating for border reform.
“Never seen it worse, conditions, than I’m seeing now,” he said. “The squalor in which these people are being held in.”
There are thousands of people seeking asylum who are waiting on the Mexican side of the border as well as the thousands who are seeking to cross illegally along with a myriad of agencies, including the Border Patrol, Mexican National Guard, gangs and cartels.
“There is a stunning lack of imagination as to how to deal with this crisis,” he said. “You will not solve this problem by law enforcement and you can’t open the border so you’ve got to find something in between.”
That in-between, according to Hoover, is a political solution.
“It’s good that she’s there,” he said about Harris’ visit. “It’s always good that attention is paid to this problem that’s been swept under the carpet by many administrations.”
He also said it’s good that Harris will visit non-governmental organizations rather than just seeking out the opinions of border officials.
“They know the situation on the ground,” he said. “These are the people who were watching the families being torn apart.”
Hoover feels frustrated by the lack of progress over the years and in many ways, he’s watched the border become more criminal with the cartels and more chaotic by a lack of coherent policy.
“In 1986, there were fewer than 500 unaccompanied minor in the United States and now we’re at 15,000,” he said. “Something’s wrong, there must be a better way.”
But in final analysis, he said one solution is simple.
“I served as a pastor for 33 years and we’re supposed to love one another,” he said. “If we loved our neighbors to the South all the way to Chile the way we love ourselves, we wouldn’t be having this mess.”
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