Since 2013, the Border Angels has convinced the border patrol (previous local chiefs Beeson and Barlow) six times to open “the door of hope” at Friendship Park.
However, this past weekend, Local Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott would not even shake my hand when I went to Friendship Park yesterday to welcome the children and mothers who arrived to the Tijuana-San Diego border from Central America to “get in line” to apply for asylum.
“Asylum is an international right”
This is an international right that Fox news, KUSI, and trump has painted as being used by
“criminal terrorist and gang members”
invading the good old USA. Rodney stated I should stop slandering him; I said it is not slander when you tell the truth.
I said , “Rodney, you are the first recent local chief to refuse to allow children to hug deported grandparents and parents–sometimes for the first time and sadly often for the last time–under ‘the door of hope’ at a place called ‘Friendship Park.'”
You said that you would not allow cross-border hugs in Imperial Valley, when you were chief there, and you stated that you would not allow it in San Diego. Sadly, Chief Rich Barlow was forced to retire and you replaced him. When we met a few months back,
I asked you why you would discontinue this beautiful act of love: opening the door of hope. Initially, you told me it was because of the surprise wedding on November 18, 2017, during Border Angels’ last opening the door of hope event.
I called you on it and said your own agents approved the wedding on the spot, so do not blame us. You then stated it was because the groom Brian Houston had a major criminal incident, since several months earlier he attempted to smuggle 147 pound of illegal drugs at the local port of entry. I said yes, the border patrol really blew that one when you missed that important detail on the background check.
You then changed your tune again on why you would not open the door of hope and said it was because of security issues at the border.
I called you on that and asked why do other border areas
now have much larger hug events?
You then said it was a manpower issue. I offered to personally call the governor and ask that he send people to help.
This past week you again changed the reason for not allowing children to hug family at Friendship Park.
You now claim it is a budget matter, so I proposed that we get sponsorship to cover costs. Still, Rodney, you continue to say
NO, NO , No!
The only constant in saying NO to children hugging family members at a now reduced Friendship Park is, sadly,
We all support secure borders, but treating our neighbors with disrespect as trump has done with words and YOU with actions is not what this country or this world is about.
You shamed the border patrol and this nation when on March 24 disabled children were denied the three-minute hug they so desperately wanted and needed at Friendship Park.
I can assure you that we will have cross-border hugs again at Friendship Park and elsewhere, as love conquers hate.
Amor, ¡sí se puede! Enrique Morones,
Executive Director and Founder, Border Angels.