RFK Jr.’s Stance on the Border

RFK Jr.’s Stance on the Border
American Values 2024 | May 26, 2024

By Sanna Hannele Voltti, The Kennedy Beacon

“When I’m president,” candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said last June, after visiting the US-Mexico border, “I will secure the border which will end the cartel’s drug and trafficking economy. And I will build wide doors for those who wish to enter legally so that the United States can continue to be a beacon to the world where diversity and culture make us great.”

Kennedy made this promise in Yuma, Arizona, after spending days there shooting Midnight at the Border, Episode 2 of a docuseries about his campaign. 

That promise resonates with Americans. According to Gallup News’ April

In this context, “encounters” refers to interactions or engagements between Customs and Border Protection (CPB) personnel and people attempting to enter the United States. This term encompasses various situations, including apprehensions of undocumented migrants, turn-backs, and other encounters where individuals come into contact with CBP officials.

Currently, there are 1.6 million immigrants residing in the US as they await asylum hearings, with fewer than 15% expected to receive approval. 

Many thousands of people have entered through the open border via processing centers. After entering the US, they go through initial processing, which includes identity verification, health screenings, and interviews to determine eligibility for asylum or other forms of relief. If there is a reason for them to seek asylum, they can be placed in immigration proceedings. This often involves the issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA), which formally initiates the immigration court process. 

However, instigated two months after president Biden took office, the now-defunct practice of quickly releasing immigrants on parole, has caused a massive backlog. The change was made to prevent overcrowding of holding cells, but it backfired when ICE officers tasked with issuing court papers couldn’t keep pace. There have been reports of court dates issued ten years after the entry. 

Kennedy’s Plan

As president, Kennedy aims to secure the border and implement comprehensive reforms promoting lawful immigration. Kennedy also emphasizes that the immigrants themselves are victims. “When many of them come across, they have been stripped of their money by the cartels… they get robbed, they get exploited, extorted, raped,” Kennedy said. 

As president, Kennedy will: 

  • Recognize and address the two primary methods of illegal entry, which are sneaking across the border and exploiting the asylum process.

  • Use technology, like detectors and cameras, in strategic locations along the 2,000-mile border. 

  • Increase the number of judges and ensure adequate funding for courts, services, and border agencies to effectively manage asylum claims and lawful immigration.

  • Strive for swift deportation of individuals with illegitimate asylum claims to discourage further exploitation of the system.

Moreover, humanitarian concerns loom large, with reports detailing overcrowded conditions, insufficient access to medical services, and prolonged delays in processing asylum requests, prompting widespread criticism and demands for systemic reform. 

Compounding these challenges, Mexican drug cartels engage in a range of criminal activities at the border, including drug and human trafficking; migrants pay smugglers (known as coyotes), who are often cartel affiliated, thousands of dollars just to get to the border, and more to cross over. All of these activities exacerbate security threats and further complicate efforts to address the complex issues plaguing the region. 

In Midnight at the Border, Kennedy said, “A country cannot exist if it can’t secure its borders, the borders are one of the definitions of our country,” he continued. “We need high fences but we need open gates. We need to change our immigration policy to make it coherent, sensible, to make it serve the interests of our country.”

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