(CNSNews.com) -- Albert Spratte, the sergeant-at-arms of the National Border Patrol Council, Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, said he disagrees with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the wave of illegal immigrants flooding the Southwest U.S. border is an opportunity, saying that border patrol agents “don’t see this as an opportunity.”
Pelosi held a press conference on Saturday, June 28, at a Border Patrol facility in Brownsville, Texas that is housing some of the thousands of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied children, who have surged across the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months.
In a telephone interview on Monday, CNSNews.com asked Spratte if he agreed with Pelosi’s statement from the press conference that “we have to use the crisis – that some view as a crisis, and it does have crisis qualities – as an opportunity to show who we are as Americans”?
Spratte, who recently spoke out against the federal government's handling of the crisis, said Pelosi is entitled to her opinion, but that he “disagrees” with her assessment of the thousands of illegal immigrants who have crossed the border and are currently being housed in makeshift shelters and bus depots across parts of the southern Texas border.
“We don’t see this as an opportunity,” Spratte said. “I wouldn’t see thousands and thousands of people flooding the border as an ‘opportunity.’”
“I understand that’s what she believes, but opportunities don’t usually come with this high a cost,” he added.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 181,000 illegal aliens have crossed the border since October 2013, including more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors. The border patrol facilities, which a CNSNews.com reporter detailed last week after visiting the border, have been filled to capacity due to the daily waves of illegal aliens entering their gates.
During her press conference, Pelosi described Brownsville as “a community with a border going through it.” She also said her view of one of the housing facilities was “dazzling.”
“What we just saw was so stunning, if you believe as we do that every child, every person, has the spark of divinity in them, and is therefore worthy of respect,” said the former Speaker of the House. “What we saw in those rooms was a dazzling, sparkling array of God’s children, worthy of respect.”
While Spratte said he could not speak for what Pelosi did or did not see, he did reference concerns over the potential spread of disease as a not-so-dazzling factor in the situation.
“I just think of things like illnesses, like the case of H1N1 they had in San Antonio,” Spratte said.
Breitbart News reported on June 25 that a child had been diagnosed with the highly-contagious flu strain at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where 1,000 illegal immigrant minors were being held. Two thousand vaccinations were sent to the base in case of an outbreak, the article stated.
“I have a friend who’s a nurse in San Antonio, and she’s told me she’s very concerned about an outbreak,” he explained.
During her visit, Pelosi also stated, “We need to find the best solution to the problem, not necessarily the fastest.”
For a border patrol already struggling under the weight of so many people and so little space, and with over 1,200 new illegal immigrants crossing the border daily, Spratte said immediacy is definitely a concern.
“I disagree with her there,” Spratte said. “I think it’s critical we bring more resources, because we just don’t have them. If they’re not going to send these people back, we’ve got to at least get them to a situation where they get the attention they need.”