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CNN Anchor to Texas Councilwoman: All This Anti-Immigrant Craziness is Turning America into the Land of the Rabid’

On Thursday, League City Council Member Heidi Thiess appeared on CNN to defend her Texas town’s decision to block immigrants from their backyard.

Instead of explaining how banning centers to detain migrant kids was a good idea, though, she got an earful from host Ashleigh Banfield, who berated her with all the reasons why the city council’s decision was crazy, heartless and just plain wrong.

“Do you see how those who are your critics say that is just heartless?” Banfield asked the small town Councilwoman. “We’ve got kids being raped in overcrowded detention facilities. They need help. These are people who are desperate, and they need help. And, effectively, your critics say you’re just turning your backs on them.”

In response, Thiess tried to tell her that unaccompanied minors were 18 percent of those currently being detained and that the federal government doesn’t let you choose who is coming to your town, which means the best thing to do was turn everyone away.

“Councilwoman, there’s 50,000 of these kids expected this year,” Banfield interrupted, calling her facts in question.“Whatever numbers you’re working off of are completely skewed by the craziness that’s going on right now!”

The CNN host then compared the town’s actions to the protesters in Murrieta waving hateful signs and telling the kids to go home, pointing out that the first glimpse the children now get of our country is “Americans who look like the land of the rabid.”

“Do you not see the difference between illegal immigrants who are here — maybe — to get a free ride, and those who are desperately seeking protection from murderers?” Banfield further quizzed.

Then, when the Councilwoman tried to claim her responsibility was to the townspeople,not immigrants, and that she was really just trying to get the federal government to enforce their own laws, Banfield exploded.

“Ms. Theiss, please stop with this, you know full well that these people aren’t escaping into America!” the CNN host exclaimed, cutting Theiss off. “They’re volunteering at the border to be caught. No one is getting through the wall of those who are there. This is a different circumstance. It’s the desperate who are begging for help. It’s not those who are sneaking in. You understand the difference, right?”

Thiess, for her part, held her ground during the contentious segment. “You don’t stop the flow of traffic by inviting more in, and taking them all in. You have to stop it!,” Thiess snapped back, failing to change her mind that barring the desperate from her town was the right thing to do.

Photo Credit: Mike Schinkel

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.