The Foe of Covid Lockdowns Wants to Lock Out “Economic Migrants”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son/nephew of a political dynasty and current candidate for president

running in the Democratic Party primaries, is widely portrayed by the corporate press as a kooky
conspiracy theorist. But he has scored as high as 20% in the polls. Is Bobby Jr. being accurately
represented or a serious competitor to Joe Biden for the Democrats’ nomination, who is being
maligned and misrepresented? To find out for myself, I attended a press conference/campaign
rally for the presidential contender on August 3 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

High Profile Political Journeys

The almost two-hour event focused on one topic: The so-called border crisis, which, if he’s
elected president, Kennedy Jr. promised “will be one of my highest priorities.” The 874-seat
Saban Theatre is only 4.4 miles from where the candidate’s father, RFK Sr., was shot at Los
Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel 55 years ago, as Bob Jimenez, who introduced RFK Jr. referenced,
identifying himself as an eyewitness of the assassination, plus as a 78-year-old Latino Vietnam
War veteran and former NBC correspondent. (Rather despicably, Bobby Jr. himself has been
denied Secret Service protection during his race for the presidency; members of the press were
subjected to metal detectors and bag checks before gaining admittance into the Saban.) But
before Kennedy Jr. addressed his enthusiastic supporters sitting in the front of the Saban with
news media relegated to the theater’s rear, the 19-minute film Midnight at the Border was
In this short the presidential aspirant seems to be (literally) following in the footsteps of his
father, who made well-documented trips as a U.S. Senator. In February 1968, a month prior to
tossing his hat into the ring, RFK Sr. made a two-day trip to one of America’s poorest pockets
located in Eastern Kentucky, which had 20 of the nation’s 30 poorest counties (see:
Less than a month later, the youthful junior senator from New York made another excursion far
from the Empire State that was extensively covered by the media. On March 10, Cesar Chavez
ended his 25-day fast to draw attention to the grape boycott when the United Farm Workers
leader accepted bread from RFK Sr. at Delano, CA. (see:
f--ke). Less than a week later, Bobby Kennedy Sr. announced his candidacy for president on
March 16, 1968 at the Senate Caucus Room, where his older brother, John F. Kennedy, had
announced he was running for president in January 1960.
The media savvy Bobby Jr.’s Midnight at the Border shares much in common with his father’s
travels. While I don’t believe that RFK Sr. commissioned filmmakers to shoot a campaign piece
as RFK Jr. appears to have done with Midnight, his dad’s trips to Appalachia and Delano
received lots of press coverage. But despite the similarities between the image conscious,

frequent flyer father and son, there is a glaring difference. While Senator Kennedy’s forays
expressed sympathy with the poor and downtrodden, Bobby Jr.’s trip to Yuma has resulted in his
campaign promise to shut the southern border to economic migrants seeking a better life in the
USA, as well as to most applicants for political asylum.
Midnight for Migrants

Co-made by documentarian Robert Campos, Midnight at the Border chronicles RFK Jr.’s trip
last June to Yuma at the Arizona-Mexico border to take a firsthand look at the border situation.
He starts in the dead of night, emerging in a pair of jeans out of a black SUV near the border
where he’s met by Jonathan Lines, Arizona Supervisor District 2, a former chairman of the
Arizona Republican Party. They drive to a stretch of the border wall, where most of the migrants
appear to be from Africa and Asia, places like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Bangladesh,
Senegal – not primarily from Latin America. Bobby Jr. notes, “Of all these people only one said
he is here for asylum. The rest said they are here for work, for better lives.”
RFK Jr. meets with Chris Clem, retired Chief Border Patrol Agent, who defends Trump’s “wall
system” that included steel, sensors, etc., but laments it was put on hold when Biden became
president, leaving gaps in the wall. Kennedy Jr. goes on to point out millions of dollars-worth of
infrastructure, such as steel girders, that have languished since the advent of the Biden
administration, which purchased steel fencing (that also seems to lie idle) that unlike the Trump
material, doesn’t have underground foundations to prevent tunneling. Lines says the Trump-
provided surveillance cameras are inactive. Onscreen figures claim Yuma border crossings rose
from 68,269 in 2019 to 114,000 in 2021 and 310,000 in 2022.
Kennedy Jr. refers to “This dystopian nightmare of this uncontrolled flow of desperate
humanity” and after visiting the border, the descendent of Irish immigrants concludes “the open
border policy is just a way of funding a multi-billion-dollar drug and human trafficking operation
for the Mexican drug cartels. When I’m president I’ll secure the borders… and I’ll build wide
doors for those who wish to enter legally so the U.S. can remain a beacon to the world…”
“Those Immigrants Shouldn’t Be Allowed into the Country”

After the film ends, looking fit in a grey suit, white shirt and tie, Kennedy Jr. takes the Saban’s
stage to elaborate on his immigration policy, assuring voters that he’s not trying to “stir up
xenophobia” and he “comes to the issue with a perspective of compassion, humanitarianism and
just common sense.”
Speaking confidently into a microphone with his trademark raspy voice, the 69-year-old states:
“A country can’t exist if it can’t secure its borders… We need to close them… This assault on
the local community. People told us they wouldn’t let their children out during the daytime...
because they were afraid of these strangers running across their yard fleeing from the Border
Patrol… The director of the local hospital told me that they had lost $27 million the previous
year in unreimbursed expenses caring for migrants… [A local Yuma expectant mother] couldn’t
get in because of 35 immigrant mothers who had filled up the maternity ward… This is now
happening in communities across our country.”

Kennedy Jr. goes on to say that America has outsourced managing its borders to the Mexican
cartels, who he accuses of child sex trafficking and selling fentanyl. Citing the New York Times,
the candidate insists: “The tsunami of new immigrants, 90,000 people, were crushing the social
service system in New York City… Bloomberg carried an article saying how officials in New
York were… considering turning Central Park into an open migrant camp.” (See:
Contending that there are up to 16 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today,
RFK Jr. stated that “there’s no way they can legally work in this country” and “will impact the
price of labor and wages of labor for every other working American. They’re being paid $5, $6
per hour by unscrupulous employers.” Stressing how close his father and later he was to the
UFW’s leader, Bobby Jr. says, “Cesar Chavez was… probably the lead champion for closed
borders because he knew American farmworkers could not make any gains in terms of their
wages and benefits… if there was an endless supply of new undocumented workers coming
across the border who lacked the bargaining power” vis-à-vis employers, who could always turn
them in to be deported.
Continuing his new stump speech, Kennedy Jr. says, “I was against Trump’s wall. I thought it
was a crazy idea… I don’t think we do need a wall for 2,200 miles… but we need something. A
lot of that technology was in place. We had towers… cameras, videos, lights, ground sensors,
motion detectors. We can protect our borders, we have the technological capacity… We need the
political will power and the personnel… We need to restore those [physical] barriers…” in urban
areas along the border, and deploy the forementioned technology in rural regions.
“We need to be able to process legal asylum seekers. The one category that comes across the
border undocumented [that is eligible for legal U.S. residency] are people who are fearing, who
are fleeing political persecution… We have the methodology for processing those claims… We
used to process them at the border. Only 15% of them are adjudicated as legitimate, the rest of
them… [were] turned away.”
During the ensuing news conference in response to a question about “Afghans being denied at
the border,” Kennedy Jr. adds: “We have a law in this country that says if you are being
politically persecuted and you are fleeing political persecution abroad you are entitled to stay in
the United States of America. That’s the law… As President, I will appoint immediately enough
judges for those cases… to be fairly adjudicated at the border swiftly and let the people who are
actually fleeing persecution into this country as soon as possible.”
Sounding tough on economic migrants, RFK Jr. asserts: “Only two families we saw that night
said they were fleeing political persecution. The rest told us openly they were coming for money,
for a better life. Those immigrants shouldn’t be allowed into the country. We should stop that at
the border… We don’t have enough immigration judges… to process the claims… The people
who do not have legitimate asylum claims should not be allowed in, allowed to cross.”

RFK Jr. asserted that he went south to the border to find out for himself about the situation there.
However, his mission to Yuma as recorded onscreen is one-sided – while the self-proclaimed
“Kennedy Democrat” interviews Republican and Border Patrol sources in Midnight, he never
questions open borders advocates and pro-migrant activists for his commissioned campaign
video that presenter Jimenez ballyhooed as “a magnificent masterpiece,” as if it’s Citizen Kane.
(For more progressive perspectives see:;;

Meet the (Alternative) Press

After speaking for 20 minutes at the Saban, which was about two thirds full, the floor was
opened for questions from reporters. In terms of news coverage, I didn’t notice any members of
mainstream media present, nor did I see/hear/read any subsequent MSM reports (although I
didn’t make an exhaustive search). Most of the press covering the event and who asked questions
were alternative, independent journalists, of which the most prominent was probably Pacific
Radio, in the form of KPFK’s “Rebel Alliance News.” (The day of the event,
posted Midnight at the Border and when the Kennedy Jr. campaign posted a video of the short
and the candidate’s appearance at the Saban, the chat accompanying it included comments such
as: “Need to go after Soros…”, “Trump was demonized.”)
Speaking into a microphone, I asked two questions. The first was whether the candidate had ever
seen Winter Kills, a 1979 film starring Jeff Bridges that aired the previous night on Turner
Classic Movies, and if so, what he thought about it? As Kennedy Jr. said he’d never seen the
movie – which 12 years before Oliver Stone’s JFK, is a satire about the assassination of
“President Kegan” and covert political intrigue, based on a novel by Richard Condon, who’d also
written The Manchurian Candidate – I moved on to my main question:
“It seems… you’re making border issues and migration a cornerstone of your campaign which,
in some ways, is similar to what Trump did in 2016. Rumors have been bandied about in media
that you may end up running on a ticket with Donald Trump as his vice president. What is your
response to those rumors? And do you definitively say you will never run on a ticket for the
White House with Donald Trump?”
RFK Jr. responded: “I experience a lot of the stuff repeated in the mainstream news, the
corporate news, as what I’d call ‘conspiracy theories.’” At this, the candidate’s supporters burst
out laughing and applauded, given that Kennedy Jr. is widely derided by MSM as a fringe figure
spouting controversial hypotheses about vaccines and more. He continued: “There’s an entire
industry made up of conspiracy theorists and a direct answer to your question: No, I will not be
Donald Trump’s vice president.” The contender did not go on to comment on the fact that at that
precise moment, across the continent, the ex-prez was en route to a Washington, D.C. courthouse
to be federally indicted for attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
After the next reporter’s inquiry at the press conference, Bobby Jr. returned to my query saying:
“Let me… add an addendum to the previous question, the previous questioner started out with an
observation that I – that the border was some sort of Trump issue… It should not be a partisan
issue. [Applause.] …I went down to the border feeling that Trump made a mistake on the wall.

But people need to be able to recalibrate their worldview when they’re confronted with
evidence… When I’m president what I’m going to do is bring in Republicans and Democrats, get
the best Republican ideas and the best Democratic ideas and put everything on the table… [more
applause] and avoid the ideological pettiness that has been so damaging to our country. What
we’re seeing on the border today is the outcome of that… and not branding Republican issue or
Democrat issue, just say let’s deal with this, it’s an existential threat to our country…”
During the almost two-hour border-centered event Kennedy Jr. didn’t discuss the causes of
immigration until prompted to by Craig “Pasta” Jardula, co-host of @theconvocouch, asking:
“According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 87% of migrants… are still coming from
Latin America. Why? Because U.S. foreign policy has over 80 bases in Latin America… funding
death squads… Why is there so much attention paid to what’s happening at the border instead of
looking at the cause of migration, which is U.S. foreign policy? ...And the cartels are run by the
RFK Jr. delivered a lengthy response: “Something I’ve been very outspoken about is we need to
take responsibility… for a foreign policy that has supported death squads in Salvador, Guatemala
and Nicaragua for many years and has supported military juntas… that has punished political
leaders in those countries… when they tried to initiate land reforms, education reforms… that
will empower the poor… We should be encouraging those policies; my uncle [JFK] understood
that… changed support for those violent dictators to support instead for the Alliance for Progress
and USAID program before it became a CIA front… You don’t need to put bases in their
country to ensure their friendship… All it’s doing is bankrupting the middle class in this
country.” During the press conference, RFK Jr. lamented the decline of the middle class and
called for “ending the war economy, which is draining our country, the closure of these bases
around the world and bring that money home.”
(At a 1961 OAS conference, Che Guevara “denounced the Alliance for Progress as a vehicle
designed to separate the people of Cuba from the other peoples of Latin America, to sterilize the
example of the Cuban Revolution, and then to subdue the other peoples according to
imperialism’s instructions…” Guevara later wrote in an essay posthumously published in 1968,
“the projects of the Alliance for Progress are nothing more than imperialist attempts to block the
development of the revolutionary conditions of the people by sharing a small quantity of the
profits with the native exploiting classes, thus making them into firm allies against the highly
exploited classes.”)
After the press conference I spotted Dennis Kucinich, RFK Jr.’s campaign manager
2024-campaign-manager-rcna85177), and asked him if he’d care to comment on the federal
indictments of Trump, happening that very afternoon. Kucinich, who had carefully cultivated an
image as a fighting liberal, said “No,” and turned away. Genuinely surprised, I asked him why he
wouldn’t comment, and he said, “Because that’s my answer.” But I shouldn’t have been
surprised; Kucinich was a mayor, congressman, presidential candidate and is now managing the
campaign of a White House hopeful. In other words, he’s a politician, now supporting a
contender who is a scion of the ruling class, running on a curious mixture of right and left.