Garth Kant / WND
WASHINGTON – As the only member of Congress to serve in both Vietnam and Iraq, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., knows what a dysfunctional country looks like.
He has seen his share of suffering and squalor during 27 years of service in the U.S. Army and National Guard, and after evacuating from the surge in Iraq in 2007 with a neck wound.
On Monday, Bentivolio had just returned from a three-day fact-finding trip to Central America to see the source of the immigration crisis for himself.
The congressman told WND that conditions in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are certainly not great and there is much hardship, but they are not war zones.
As for the recent avalanche of immigrants?
“I really wouldn’t call them refugees,” said Bentivolio, while also expressing great sympathy for their plight.
He noted, “Our kids are facing similar problems. We have to put our own house in order first.”
The congressman said the children he saw in Central America do indeed have dangerous schools in dangerous cities and have few job prospects. But so do many children in the United States.
The immigration problem really boils down to this, said Bentivolio: “Democrats want the votes, and the Republicans want the cheap labor.”
The Michigander has a unique perspective on both parties, as evidenced by a wall of his office. One side is a tribute to President Ronald Reagan. The other side salutes President John F. Kennedy.
He admires both men for their commitment to the American dream and believes JFK would be a Republican if he were alive today.
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