Local, migrant labor leader calls for proper immigration reform amid border security stalemate


TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - For nearly three weeks, the president and congress have been at a standstill.

"All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal immigration," President Donald Trump said during his address Tuesday.

As talks over a budget bill broke down on Wednesday, a local organizer is speaking out, calling for leaders in Washington to use whatever money might be approved the right way.

"I think we need to go back to being intellectually honest about the facts and respond to that in a bipartisan way," Baldemar Velasquez, president, Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), said.

He says that President Trump is painting people with a broad brush and adds that a wall or barrier won't solve the bigger problem.

"You've got to govern for the good of all and the best interest of the country, not a political sound bite," he said.

Instead, Velasquez calls for better trade agreements with Central American countries, smarter investments and, above all, proper immigration reform.

"The money would go a lot further than building some sort of barrier or a wall," Velasquez said.

Mr. Trump says he's asking for $5.7 billion for the border wall, calling it "critical to border security."

In his address to the nation, Trump says every day with out a physical barrier puts people at risk. He blames democrats, saying they refuse to acknowledge the "humanitarian crisis."

"Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who have illegally entered our country," the president said. "Thousands more will be lost if we don't act right now."

Velasquez questions those claims saying, "if that makes a domestic emergency, we ought to be more concerned with the domestic terrorists that have killed far more people in our schools and public places."

In the end, a conclusion to what could be the longest shutdown in history will be up the the elected officials. The question is: will there be a compromise?

Trump will be heading to the border Thursday. He maintains that he will keep the government shut down however long it takes to get the wall funded.