Congressman Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) countered the narrative being pushed by some Democrats about the conditions at the southern border.
As IJR previously reported, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the conditions in border detention facilities “inhumane” and “awful.” On the House side, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) claimed that she spoke to women who were forced to drink from toilets in the overcrowded facilities. Ocasio-Cortez also claimed the agents acted in a threatening manner.
Phillips, however, had a different story to tell. During an interview on “Fox and Friends Sunday,” the congressman told host Griff Jenkins that he saw “beautiful examples of humanity” coming from the border patrol agents working in the facilities.
Watch Phillips remarks:
“This whole circumstance dehumanizes a lot of people. And I have compassion, first and foremost, for the children, as I said earlier. But in our experience both from the first time I went and then just a couple of days ago with my colleagues, we also saw beautiful examples of humanity expressed by agents and officers at the border itself, in the facilities. Yes, we have a problem as evidenced by some of the recent news reports — and those are atrocious — but we have to at least acknowledge the thousands of hard-working men and women that are parents themselves that are working under the most difficult conditions and doing so with grace. And I saw some circumstances very specifically that will be memorable and will be indelibly placed on my mind as I try to find solutions with my colleagues.”
The congressman added that he has been working with the Problem Solver’s Caucus — a bipartisan House Caucus that aims to reduce partisanship to address policy issues — to come up with a solution for the crisis at the border. He said the biggest problem in Congress is that members do not make time to discuss policy solutions.
“I’ll tell you, Griff, the biggest problem, if you ask me, in Congress is that we do not make space or time to sit down with one another and discuss policy. We have hearings that turn into television shows, we’re overscheduled, too much focus on fundraising — the relentless pursuit of money for campaigns. And we’ve got to create time and space to get together — we in Congress, in both chambers, the executive branch — and that’s the beginning. I do not have a magic wand. I cannot effect policy tomorrow. I’m one of 535 total votes here in the U.S. Congress, but the beginning is sitting down.”
Phillips noted that he has helped organize a bipartisan task force to begin addressing the crisis at the border.