Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild was interviewed on the July 17 edition of Fox and Friends, an early morning program on Fox News Channel.

The topic was the border crisis of children from Central America seeking to enter our country outside of normal legal channels and the federal government's recent consideration of housing some of those children in Westminster.


I didn't notice anyone grandstanding during the interview. I saw an elected official being asked reasonable and probing questions and being allowed time to complete his answers.

The commissioner opposed sending these children to Westminster for several reasons. First, he related that there had been no consultation between the federal government and local officials.

He next expressed the concern that forcing Carroll County and Westminster to provide services to this population would take away needed services from current residents. He suggested that we have many disadvantaged folks in Carroll County and it would be wrong to divert such precious resources away from them.

When the broadcaster asked Rothschild what should be done differently with these children from countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, the commissioner from District 4 answered that relief efforts should be provided in southern Mexico rather than these children traveling 1,700 miles across Mexico and over 2,000 miles to Carroll County. He suggested that the International Red Cross should organize relief efforts once the children cross the southern border of Mexico.

One of the guests on Fox News Sunday on July 20 was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX. The bulk of the interview was directed to the crisis along our border. He expressed the opinion that the cause of the crisis was President Barack H. Obama's 2012 decision to unilaterally grant amnesty to approximately 800,000 folks in our country who entered as children but not legally.

Cruz related at approximately 6,000 children were apprehended by law enforcement crossing the border in 2011. In this year Cruz cited an administration estimate that 90,000 children will be picked up crossing the border, and that number is expected to grow to 145,000 next year.

In Cruz's view this spike in border crossing is a direct and foreseeable consequence of the 2012 amnesty promise by the president.

Cruz related during the interview that the border patrol has conducted a study of the reasons the children are giving for coming across the border. According to the senator, a whistle-blower leaked the results of the survey to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The survey revealed that 95 percent of the children crossed with the expectation of being granted amnesty.

Interviewer Chris Wallace asked Cruz to respond to a recent statement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV who accused Republicans in Congress of holding these children hostage.

Cruz countered that it was actually Reid and the president holding these children hostage with the promise of amnesty. Cruz recounted a recent visit he made to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to observe conditions where approximately 1,200 children were being held.

He described anecdotes from a senior official at the base that smugglers hold many of these children as hostages for more money from family members. If the additional funds aren't paid, then body parts are cut off and sent to the family.

Cruz expressed the view that the current crisis is the opposite of compassionate for these children. It is instead cruel for them to be exposed to such brutality in his opinion.

Some have expressed criticism of politically inspired motivation for those holding the views of Rothschild and Cruz. Maybe we should also scrutinize possible political motivations of Reid and the president.

Do they seek to rile up a dispirited Democratic voter base for the elections this November for example? Democrats seeking re-election to Congress can hardly be expected to run on the state of the economy or the "masterful" job of foreign policy we're seeing on display every day in the media.


Michael Zimmer writes from Eldersburg. His column appears on Friday. Email him at zimlaw64@gmail.com.