Is this the new normal? Cory Booker, a U.S. senator, and presidential candidate walked five women across the Paso Del Norte Bridge in Juárez Wednesday. He coordinated with Families Belong Together, a group that brings together 250 organizations who protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Cory Booker is running for president and his campaign is not exactly rocketing to the top of the polls. In the latest Real Clear Politics poll averages, Booker is at 2.2%. It looks like Booker is following the lead of another candidate, Beto O’Rourke, and campaigning for president by going into Mexico and pandering to asylum-seekers. O’Rourke is at 2.4% in Real Clear Politics poll averages. I wrote about Beto’s big adventure a few days ago. O’Rourke met with people waiting in Mexico under the Remain in Mexico program. He didn’t, however, take it a step further as Booker did and actually walk women across the border.
Is this suppose to be a Spartacus moment for the Booker campaign? Should someone remind him that his first such moment during the Kavanaugh confirmation didn’t go so well? This move seems bone-headed and just another stunt staged for cameras. He was also joined by attorneys from Las Americas, an immigrant advocacy organization out of El Paso. This campaign activity checked all the boxes – asylum-seeking women, professional agitators, reporters and photographers, and attorneys.
The women Booker walked over the bridge were five Cuban and Honduran women. These women are seeking asylum due to sexual assault and labor trafficking. They hope that Booker’s position as a U.S. Senator will work in their favor.
Las Americas attorney Linda Rivas said the women were victims of sexual assault and labor trafficking in Juárez and intended to claim fear of returning to the border city. Rivas said Booker “is supporting our clients in his role as a senator, which is a pretty powerful support.”
Booker spent more than three hours meeting with the migrants at a Chihuahua state-run migrant aid center near the foot of the Paso Del Norte Bridge in Juárez. He arrived at the migrant center just before 11 a.m. with a group of El Paso immigration attorneys.
Customs and Border Protection officers were waiting for them at the top of the bridge. This is where CBP officers have been stopping migrants from entering the U.S. All of the women are subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols program (MPP), a.k.a. Remain in Mexico program. Attorney Rivas says some of the alleged crimes were committed before they crossed the U.S. border and some were committed after they returned to Mexico due to the MPP program.
The women will likely be held by CBP at least through the July 4 holiday, Rivas said. They will likely be asked to prove that they face significant risks if returned to Juárez.
“We hope that they are released from MPP and eventually allowed to seek asylum without being detained” or returned to Mexico, Rivas said.
Why were these five women chosen? Why didn’t Senator Booker just bring all of the people at the migrant center he visited? He could have done the whole Pied Piper thing – think about that vision of a long line of desperate Central Americans and Cubans being led to the promised land by a benevolent U.S. Senator. He could have even made a documentary-style live-stream of the whole thing.
It is not a coincidence that Cory Booker rolled out his immigration plan Tuesday, the day before this stunt. His plan is heavy on executive orders.
Booker released his immigration plan Tuesday, which includes moving prosecutors’ focus away from charging migrants with criminal offenses unless they pose a threat to public safety. He also promises new mandates on migrant detention centers to meet minimum standards, the Associated Press reported. The plan focuses almost entirely on executive orders.
His plan also ends the travel ban that the Trump administration continued from the Obama administration, no more migrant raids at schools, churches, and courthouses, and he will end the use of quotas in immigration courts. Sounds like an open borders guy’s dreams come true.
My final question is this – if the detention centers, which asylum-seekers will end up in, are so horrible (like concentration camps) why is Cory Booker leading these women to them? Since when is it ok for a candidate for the presidency of the United States to cross over into Mexico and criticize American immigration policy so that he can use desperate people seeking the opportunities and freedom of America as political campaign props?