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VIDEO: Blunt Joins Face the Nation to Discuss U.S.-Mexico Border Security Agreement

June 09, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation today to discuss the U.S.-Mexico border security agreement and the humanitarian crisis on the southern border.

Following Are Excerpts from Blunt’s Interview:

On the U.S.-Mexico Border Security Agreement 

“Well, I talked to the president Friday night, actually, and he, of course, understood that I’m always pretty reluctant to use tariffs. I’m more of an open-the-markets kind of guy rather than look for ways to close those markets. But he was, I think, appropriately pleased with the agreement that’s been made. About 10 days ago, we made an agreement with Guatemala to work with them on that southern border of Mexico, the northern border of Guatemala. Having the Mexicans agree to be a big part of that is a huge thing. …

“The new president of Mexico frankly has surprised me in his willingness to reach out. That rally that was talked about last night in Tijuana was a rally that honored both a growing Mexico and a strong friendship with the United States. So I thought that was a good thing. They had 50 people  the president told me this Friday night on the phone – they currently have 50 people – 5-0 – on the Guatemalan border. I think we’re going to get closer to about 6,000 Mexican National Guard down there helping with that. …

“I think this is a big win for both sides and I think the president’s willingness to use tariffs, even though I’m not a big supporter of tariffs, he is, and his willingness to use that probably helped produce a result. I hope we don’t have to go back to that as an issue again with Mexico. …

“I think the biggest lesson here, probably the biggest message here is now not to Mexico, but to China. That the president is clearly willing to use tariffs and, actually, the president believes that tariffs are a significant positive economic tool. Lots of people in the country agree with that. That’s never been my view, but it’s always been the president’s view, so he is consistently willing to use something that he has always said should be part of our arsenal.”

On the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

“I think this is truly a humanitarian crisis. I hope our friends on the other side, the Democrats, will step up and join us in providing the money needed to take care of unaccompanied kids. Now it’s important to understand these are not kids who’ve been separated from their parents. This is no argument about separating kids from the parents. These are kids who are under 18 who came on their own, about 30 percent of them are under 12 or so. The others are teenagers of various ages, but they’re minors. They get here on their own. …

“We’re going to have about 88,000 come this year, 88,000 kids by themselves and everybody, when they think about this, surely understands you can’t let 12 and 13 and 14 year old boys and girls, you can’t say, ‘Okay we don’t have any place to go with you. And it’s illegal to return you back to your home country. We’re just going to let you loose in the United States and you show up at some future time to have your case handled.’”

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