Senator Corker suggests parties choose not to solve immigration for political theater
In the midst of a week filled with Presidential and Vice Presidential visits, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker tried to avoid making headlines while speaking at a Rotary Club meeting in Chattanooga Thursday afternoon.
The two term Senator and former Mayor of Chattanooga reminisced on his career in politics and became emotional as he thanked the room for the opportunity to serve.
"It has been the greatest privilege and I just, before we do anything else, I want to thank you again. Thank you," Senator Corker said.
After brief remarks, the head of the Committee on Foreign Relations opened the floor to questions.
The mother of a veteran quickly brought Senator Corker into a conversation on one of the most contested topics in politics today, immigration.
"It's turned out to be an issue that revs up the base. Much of what has happened is theater," Senator Corker said.
This week, President Donald Trump announced he would consider sending 15,000 troops to the Southern border as a caravan of Central American migrants heads North.
The woman in the crowd expressed concern for the potential deployment.
Senator Corker responded "I don't know what in the world 15,000 troops could do at the border with a caravan of 200 people or whatever it is."
The Senator did emphasize the "need to keep our border secure" and "enforce the laws that we have" but also spoke to the nationwide trend of campaigns capitalizing on the hot-button issue.
"It's almost like we attempt to not solve the problem so we can use it to our advantage. It's being used that way right now," he said.
Of the migrant caravan, Senator Corker painted a different picture than many campaign ads released by the GOP in recent weeks.
"I've never seen or met a migrant or immigrant that I was angry at because they wanted to come to the greatest nation on earth and to try to live a life like we're able to live here," he said adding:
It's hard for me to be angry at someone that wishes the same thing for their family that we wish for ours.
Hours after the Senator's remarks, President Trump announced in a press conference that the migrants will not have the chance to apply for asylum in the United States.
President Trump has repeatedly called the migrants travelling in the caravan violent and a threat to the country.
The President assured they won't be allowed into the country and blamed Democrats for what he called "weak immigration laws."