Duncan Hunter on Channel 10
The theme of the day at House member Duncan Hunter's Ramona town hall meeting Sunday was supposed to be "The Border, Then and Now," though the indicted ex-Marine GOP congressman's off-topic discussion of his selfie with a dead combatant drew much of the media heat.
There was still plenty of border talk, including Hunter's assertion that waves of immigrants massing along the southern frontier are a "drug cartel-driven catastrophe" using "fake families" to gain illegal asylum, aided by outside intervention.
"If you can move troops to Syria, then you can move troops to the border, and build a wall on the border, and say it is in the interest of national security," Hunter told the appreciative crowd.
Besides backing the wall, Hunter has also been a vocal critic of the United Nations, which has been attempting without success to introduce so-called human rights monitors into the United States to investigate alleged harm to migrant children by immigration enforcement officials.
In March, Felipe González Morales, the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, complained to Newsweek that the administration had failed to honor his requests to allow him to investigate the crisis.
"I got a response to my first letter, which stated that the State Department was consulting with different stakeholders regarding my request," González Morales was quoted as saying.
"As for my letter from December, I did not get any response. Nor I have gotten to any of the communications I have sent since mid-last year to the U.S. Government addressing different topics on migration in the U.S."
A longtime U.N. skeptic, Hunter co-sponsored the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011, which said the international body suffered from "unacceptably high levels of waste, fraud, and abuse, which seriously impair its ability to fulfill the lofty ideals of its founding."
None of that stopped Hunter's aide Holly Hough from taking a free May 2 overnight trip to New York courtesy of the United Nations Foundation, according to a May 15 disclosure report filed with the Clerk of the House.
"As the legislative assistant who handles foreign affairs and immigration, including refugee cases, it is very helpful to receive briefings from one of the [Non-Governmental Organizations] that works directly with this subject matter," says a justification statement signed by Hough.
The junket had nothing to do with the problems with Mexico.
The United Nations Foundation, says Hough's disclosure, "works to educate all Americans, including the U.S. Congress, on the importance of strong U.S.-U.N. relationship."
"This learning trip provides an opportunity for congressional staff members to visit the U.N. and take part in meetings with U.N. officials to learn about the U.N. response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen."
The foundation picked up $250 worth of roundtrip train and shuttle bus fare, $253 in Manhattan lodging expenses at the EVEN Hotel, and meal costs of $114, plus a $20 "fee for U.N guided tour and lecture briefing." No other details were provided.
"The hotel is steps away from Grand Central Station, United Nations Headquarters, UN Plaza and the famed Fifth Avenue," says EVEN's website.