In a clarifying moment for Republicans across the nation, Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono said she did not know people could be criminally prosecuted for crossing the United States-Mexico border illegally.
On Tuesday, Hirono confusingly admitted to not understanding that people crossing the border without proper authorization was both a criminal and civil crime. Furthermore, she said she thought it was President Trump who made crossing the border an illegal action.
This is a sitting Senator leading the U.S. legislature. Let that sink in.
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on Tuesday admitted to being confused as to who created the law criminalizing illegal immigration during an exchange with ICE Executive Associate Director Matthew Albence before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Hirono and Albence’s conversation concerned whether children who crossed the border illegally (or were transported across) should be sent to a Family Residential Center (FRC).
Here’s a transcript of the exchange, also courtesy of Breitbart:
HIRONO: Mr. Albence, would you send your children to FRCs?
ALBENCE: Again, I think we’re missing the point. These individuals are there because they have broken a law. There has to be a process —
HIRONO: They have broken a law but only as deemed so by the president with his —
ALBENCE: No ma’am. They are there for violation of Title 8 of the U.S. Nationality Act — Okay? — U.S.C. 1325. That’s illegal entry is both a criminal and civil violation. They are in those FRCs pending the outcome of that civil immigration process. They have broken the law.
HIRONO: Well, these are mainly — my understanding is that under zero-tolerance, these are no longer civil proceedings, but in fact were criminal proceedings.
ALBENCE: They were criminal proceedings when the Border Patrol prosecuted them. But at the conclusion of that process, once the individual came into ICE custody, they would go through administrative proceedings.
HIRONO: I’m confused.
ALBENCE: The criminal proceeding is the individual being prosecuted for the criminal violation of improper entry.
Check it out:
“I’m Confused”: ICE official has to explain to Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono that illegal immigrants break the law. pic.twitter.com/lgM9WhHWco
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) July 31, 2018
Perhaps the reason she and other Democrat lawmakers are against building a border wall, preventing illegal crossings, and supporting the abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is that they do not realize it is (and has been) a crime to cross the border illegally…?
Here’s how Albence went on to describe the FRCs to those on the Judiciary panel, via CBS News:
Matthew Albence, an executive associate director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the lawmakers that “the best way to describe” conditions at family detention centers was “like a summer camp.” He said the facilities undergo rigorous inspections and offer basketball and other forms of recreation, food and water around the clock and medical and dental care.
“These individuals have access to 24/7 food and water. They have educational opportunities. They have recreational opportunities, both structured as well as unstructured,” Albence said, according to CBS Los Angeles. “There’s basketball courts, there’s exercise classes, there’s soccer fields that we put in there. They have extensive medical, dental and mental health opportunities. In fact, many of these individuals, the first time they’ve ever seen a dentist is when they’ve come to one of our (family residential) centers.”
“We do not leave our humanity behind when we report for duty,” Carla L. Provost, acting chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, told members of the committee.
Here’s how some people online responded to the senator:
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 31, 2018
She didn’t know entering the country illegally was a crime
This is a US Senator
Let that sink in https://t.co/tuBGiWKqHx
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 31, 2018
Unbelievable that A US Senator has no understanding that illegal entry is a crime.
— Carl Powers (@Powers1941Carl) July 31, 2018
Laws and stuff. So confusing.
— Douglas Coughlin (@cogswell250) July 31, 2018
“I’m confused” should be the Democrats midterm slogan.
— K.V. (@KV8675309) July 31, 2018
“Whatever you do, blame others” should be the slogan
— timf141 (@timf141) July 31, 2018
Are you KIDDING me!?!?!? She’s CONFUSED!!!! They broke the LAW!!! How did she get this far in life??
— Glenda Jacobsma (@jacobsma69) July 31, 2018
To make this funnier:
She has a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
— El Bearsidente 江戸羆🐻 (@Edohiguma) July 31, 2018
I’m no legal scholar and I could follow that with the first explanation.
— Dana (@danalundon) July 31, 2018
Why do some behave like we are the only country in the world that has borders? I can’t go to Europe without a passport and I certainly can’t work there without approval.
— Rebar619 (@jlahaye76) July 31, 2018
This is so cringy
— George Bailey (@hagenduke) July 31, 2018
Just think of the people who elected her…#whatajoke
— Market Agnostic (@MarketAgnostic) July 31, 2018