Republican Rep. Michael Burgess was confronted by constituents in a town hall meeting in his North Texas district Monday about the Trump administration’s policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the border.
Speaking at Denton High School, constituents asked him about his stance on undocumented immigrants being separated from their children while they await prosecution, NBC5 reported.
Burgess told the station before the town hall that people who cross the border illegally will face “pretty harsh consequences as we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks.”
Gretchen Veling, who lives in Keller, said even though the children are not citizens of the United States, many people are scared for them.
Watch: Nielsen Calls On Congress to Address Immigrant Family Separation
“What are you going to do for these babies and what are you going to do for your citizens who are afraid for these babies?” she asked.
Burgess’ reply in turn elicited boos.
“I appreciate you’re critical of the leadership in this country, but where in the hell is the leadership in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador,” he said.
Burgess also did not give a definitive answer when asked by NBC 5 about whether he supported the policy of separating children as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
“No one supports separating children, but no one supports people coming in without the value of having the law behind them,” he said. “There are proper ways to do it. People understand that.”
When asked how he felt about seeing pictures of children in shelters, he responded by saying “I would never place a child on top of a train and say ‘Travel 500 miles and I hope things work out for you.’ That’s what’s been wrong in this equation.”