Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will host a news conference to explain how he will address the immigration issue and premiere the 21-minute documentary “Midnight at the Border,” a film about his visit to the Arizona-California border with Mexico.
The event is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT at the Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.
Kennedy visited the Arizona-California border with Mexico in early June where he met with migrants, law enforcement, border patrol, farmers, health professionals, government officials, aid workers, and community members, among other stakeholders.
Kennedy will share his vision of how he will fix the border crisis as President, drawing on the broad moral agreements beneath the visible political divisions in America.
“Every nation, like every individual, has a darker side and a lighter side,” said Kennedy. “The easiest thing for a politician to do is to appeal to our greed, to our anger, to our fear, to our xenophobia, our bigotry, all of the alchemies of tribalism. I will appeal instead to our generosity as a people, our goodness, our kindness, and our courage.”
Kennedy has clear positions on most of today’s divisive trigger issues like abortion, guns, and immigration, but he knows that both sides have legitimate concerns and legitimate moral positions.
During a visit to the Yuma, Arizona, border in June 2023, Kennedy saw firsthand during an overnight tour how noncitizens crossed a canal and walked past the border wall by going in between the gaps in the Trump-era barrier. Some of the immigrants surrendered to Border Patrol while others attempted to get away.
Kennedy berated President Joe Biden and members of his party for the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border, as millions cross and “most of them are never seen or heard from again.”
“What we’re doing now is much more inhumane,” said Kennedy. “It has become an invitation to other people to take this huge risk to get into this country because it’s a signal that it’s an open door.”
Kennedy called the southern border a “dystopian nightmare” after witnessing what he called “desperate people” from all over the world flooding into the United States, and he said that the situation at the border clearly could have been prevented.
“This is a humanitarian crisis because of the understanding across the globe that we now have an open border here,” said Kennedy. “There are people being drawn here. They’re being abused. There’s all kinds of just horrific, terrible, terrible stories, and this is not a good thing for our country. This is not a good thing for these people. It is unsustainable.”
Kennedy spoke with immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, and West Africa.
“The stories that we heard from these people are absolutely heartbreaking,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy also cited a lack of attention to America’s relationships with Mexico and other countries in Central America, where officials might have stemmed the flow of migrants before it reached the border.
If elected, Kennedy said he would work on restoring a working relationship with those countries to help reduce migration.
People were taken to a regional Border Patrol facility to be processed, said Kennedy, wh noted, “After four or five days, they’re released on their own recognizance into our country, and most of them are never seen or heard from again.”
Illegal immigrants who are not immediately removed from the country may be released into the interior of the United States to await removal proceedings in immigration court years down the road. Some immigrants are given notices to appear in court, while others are released through a process known as parole, which relies on the immigrant to follow up with immigration authorities.
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, said he is seriously concerned with the impact the constant influx of immigrants has had on farmers in the region who supply 90 percent of all green leafy vegetables in the U.S. between November and April, because their crops could be compromised by foot traffic through fields and irrigation systems.
“We should have closed borders, and we should expand immigration,” Kennedy said. “It’s not racist or insensitive to say that we need to close our borders and have an orderly immigration policy. I would expand legal immigration to this country that’s orderly, that makes sense for our country, but also that our borders are impervious.”
According to Kennedy, children are being victimized “by these open-door policies” that have helped create a “humanitarian crisis” on the U.S.-Mexico border with fentanyl and other drugs flowing across.
“We have a crisis, and we need to close our border,” said Kennedy, who faulted Biden for sending 1,500 active-duty military personnel to the US-Mexico border to serve alongside the 2,500 National Guard troops who were already deployed there.