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Border Crisis Elevates Beyond Politics

Pastors and Politicians say caring for the tens of thousands of migrant children is a humanitarian issue that must be addressed.
Northwest Arkansas -- The crisis at the border is elevating the immigration issue beyond politics in Northwest Arkansas.

Cross Church Senior Pastor Dr. Ronnie Floyd has seen the crisis at the border first hand.

"I visited a migrant facility for children in McAllen, Texas," he says. "I saw up close, children who had just been in the country for a few hours... When you see a 7-year-old little boy from Honduras be asked about his family, he said 'I have no family.'" You know, it kinda breaks your heart."

His Sunday sermon detailed the trip, and what he took away from it.

"My role is to call upon people to first of all love the people that are here," he says. "Love the immigrant. Love children. Love adults. If they're inside the borders of our country then we have a responsibility to show compassion until they leave our country, or until they are becoming full citizens of our country."

Congressman Steve Womack says offering amnesty is not a viable option.

"These kids need to be reunited with their families in their home countries," Rep. Womack says. "It is just not practical to believe that America is going to be able to solve the poverty of Guatemala, or Honduras, or El Salvador, or any other country for that matter, by just having an open border process here."

He wants to change the message being sent to parents in Central America.

"If you send your kids to this country they're going to be treated humanely, treated fairly, but they're going to be expedited back to their country of origin, so it's not worth the risks associated with a long trip."

Both men agree this is now a humanitarian crisis, but it stems from the larger political issue immigration policy, which they say also needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

"The elected leaders of our country have to come to some kind of agreement to fix the system," Floyd says. "I know that's very complex, and it's very difficult, or they would have already reached a conclusion."

"We need to secure the border and then have a larger, adult-level discussion about what to do on the immigration front," Womack says.
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