Conway Offers Compassion and Common Sense: Best Way to Help Migrant Families Is to Help Them Come Legally

Kellyanne Conway

Amid outcry over the situation at the southern border, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway provided somewhat of a reality check.

As IJR previously reported, migrants tried storming the border earlier this week and encountered tear gas from law enforcement.

While speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Conway suggested people should show migrants compassion by offering to help them come to the United States legally.

“Try to help,” she said, according to The Hill. “Who’s helping them to realize how they can immigrate here legally?”

She also noted that “there are peaceful and legal ways to come to this country and I would say to those women and their children that they should go ahead and look at those options.”

While Conway said that she had “great compassion” for mothers trying to bring their children to the U.S., she also attempted to discredit false ideas surrounding compassion.

“Who promised them things that don’t exist? Who took their money and promised them safe passage and a peaceful path here towards asylum, when it’s not true?” she asked.

“That’s not the way to come,” she added. Her statements came as the president refused to back down from enforcing immigration law and protecting the border.

While it seemed unlikely that Congress would reach a compromise on immigration, thousands of additional migrants were traveling behind the thousands that already made it to the border.

Trump seemed poised to push for border wall funding just before the budget deadline on Dec. 7 — potentially opening the door to a government shutdown.

Although Trump’s House majority may help him to push border funding before Democrats take over next year, he could have a difficult time getting that through his slim majority in the Senate.

As IJR previously noted, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) both indicated they wouldn’t be willing to shut down the government over the wall issue.


  1. The best way to help migrant families is to help them come legally, that’s absolutely right. But the United States has been letting in less and less asylum seekers and changing the rules on who can apply, including women and their families that come from domestic violence situations. Kellyanne’s words don’t match the actions of the administration.

    1. Legal immigration and asylum are two different things.

      Can you provide some #s and sources to back your statement about “less and less”? These might help place them in context as recent or a years-long trend.

    2. “Crashing the border” and using violence while doing so are neither legal immigration NOR likely to get one granted asylum.

      Approximately 80%+ of the invaders are military-age males who have been quoted as seeking work, not asylum.

      1. When you’ve got a congressperson joyfully vowing to impeach the MF’er, let’s not quibble over nuances of language. Asylum . . work . . legal . . . illegal. . . too may toe, too ma toe

    3. Also, are rising #s of those seeking asylum reflective of those who are actually eligible to receive it? More ineligibles will inflate the # and %ages of rejections.

      Many sources attribute the surge in C. American exodus to fear of criminal violence in their native countries. Unfortunately this does not square with the legal conditions for granting asylum. Nor does seeking work or education.

    4. It’s also hard to make a case for fleeing domestic violence when your entire family, husband included, are with you. q.v. recent photos of ENTIRE, INTACT families.

      Domestic violence should be grounds for asylum. Leaving your country is one way to make one’s own asylum. Traveling across multiple borders dilutes this claim.

      Then there’s that due process thing that’s part of law. Is the woman telling the truth?

    5. As much as I’m sensitive to the individual horrors of (offshore) domestic violence situations, for which tragically there is often no escape, no justice for the victim, no punishment for the miscreant, neither the U.S. nor it’s State governments have nexus in those matters. It can’t be otherwise. Chalk that up to human blight.

      1. …,and , ironically, those who are granted asylum under such circumstances then bring over there “abusers”. No stats, but how convenient a loophole for them to exploit. q.v. the # of child brides (teens) married to men in their 40s.

  2. If Kellyanne really wants to help the situation, then she should fight to eliminate the reasons for people wanting to immigrate in the first place.

    You don’t stop a flood by trying to just dam a river. You deal with the causes of flooding before it can start.

    1. Why not do both? Stop the influx of migrants and help improve conditions in their native countries.

      1. Sounds resonable and I would agree. Can you tell me one thing he has done to improve conditions? I normally wouldn’t ask, but the president has made this his big issue to scare people with – which means he needs to fix it. I saw him threaten funding if countries didn’t force people to stay?

        A wall is shorter term solution. The long term solutions should be developed at the same time, but i don’t recall any progress on long term (i might be wrong, but I’m sure you can correct me if i am)

        1. “Can you tell me one thing he has done to improve conditions?”

          Ha ha ha! He’s not interested in actually helping OTHER people! Come on.

        2. Phoenix, living in an area which suffers societally, culturally, and economically from illegals I can say that, yes, a wall, minefield, and “kill on sight” are needed. Fu*k tear gas. Use real bullets, mines, and sniper fire.

          In reality, how long do you think it would take for that message to spread? “Don’t fuck with the US border.” See how many “caravans” of invaders try after that.

          Discriminating for children and women would be ageist and sexist (love the Left’s mindless labels).

          1. The US has already poured millions in foreign aid into Central America. It makes sense for Trump to focus on stopping the influx of migrants before helping other countries. His constitutional mandate is to protect the United States. Advancing foreign policy objectives through foreign aid isn’t as clear of a priority as national defense is in the Constitution.

        3. Another thing to think about is that NGO’s could provide some assistance while the Congress and the administration agree on some kind of relief package. Just in practical terms, it’s difficult for Trump to get border security through Congress so discussions about foreign aid (as a compromise) are a long way off.

          1. I’m not even suggesting foriegn aid. A last week the president tweeted that we would stop sending aid if Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador dont stop people from trying to leave their countries.

            Why not put that same pressure, but towards a goal that would improve things there vs just force people to stay in a bad situation.

            And just to clarify, I’m not against a border wall.

          2. Can you give an example of this? Not sure what this would look like.

          3. Honestly, i don’t have a great answer, but threatening aid if a country doesn’t force its citizens to stay within their borders is equally confusing to me.

            My only thought is if you are going to threaten, then address the problem and not the symptom.

      2. Like I said, you don’t stop a river flooding by simply putting a cork in it. Likewise, Trump won’t stop “illegal” migration by building a wall. The majority of those immigrants enter through other holes, so his plan won’t ever be effective. So, the “wall” is just one of his inflammatory tools. Unfortunately, it might end up being intolerably expensive for you and me.

      3. Sam, so you’re advocating “regime change” and “nation building” much closer to home? While these are humanitarian, can we afford to do so?

        More importantly, will the country and populace be ready to accept it? e.g. try introducing the internet to the savages who murdered the missionary on North Sentinel or the natives in Ecuador.

        Some peoples and cultures are NOT ready to engage the “1st” world. To believe this both insults them and denies their own realities.

        1. Hi Screwtape, see my comments above. You’re right in pointing out that there’s only so much the administration can do without the government’s cooperation but I’m not advocating regime change. There are a lot of ways the administration could help other nations — through diplomacy, incentivizing NGO’s, and foreign aid. At a certain point, though, progressives are going to have to realize they’re being unreasonable in asking that the United States justify its border security by providing aid.

          1. Sam, considering that many of those (the ones not seeking employment or free education) claim to be fleeing due to a “fear of violence” indicates that aid, diplomacy, and NGOs will not work. Politicians in El Salvador can only run and hold office with gang permission and payoffs. Slightly better (not enough) in Honduras and Guatemala. Bad economy, unemployment, poor education (look at many of our own cities). Not one of these is an easy or quick fix.

          2. …and the will not stick without continued support because the people and the politicians are incapable. Do you believe that Afghanistan is going to stabilize if/when we leave. Look at Iraq. Savages, not ready for primetime and too busy fighting their own sectarian wars.

          3. So, using armed troops to remove and prevent the gangs MUST be step one. Then a continued presence to ensure they do not return, setting up a stable, self-supporting culture and government. How long and how much? q.v. Afghanistan and Iraq.

            We pour our wealth and people in, we get little out. Which is foreign-policy for the mentally-challenged, i.e. retards (because screw PC) The people MUST be ready, q.v. the Arab Spring otherwise it’s pissing money away.

          4. It’s maybe an argument for an inverted colonialism. Conquer, throw money, get little/nothing back. build schools, infrastructure, government. Then turn it over to them? If the people aren’t ready for it, it’s like handing the TV remote to a cat and saying watch what you want.

            The Marshall Plan worked wonderfully because the people/nations/cultures were ready for it.

          5. Thought. Native missionaries. Gandhi was educated in Western culture then went back to help his own people. (we could force that choice, because…human nature) Let them be the instruments of their own change.

          6. The J-1’s were all supposed to return to Hindustan and implement that which was learned in the USA in their own country – like sewer building, castelessness, hygiene, sterility, and pasteurization. But America is just too wonderful to ever leave.

    2. Right Rock. Let’s go to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and implement a Why Can’t We All Just Get Along program in each barrio.

  3. …because LEGAL immigration is always an option.*
    *unless you’re a criminal, as a large # of these invaders have proven themselves.

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