It wasn't supposed to go this way. Or so CNN's Don Lemon must have thought when he had Mexican-American comedian Paul Rodriguez on his CNN Tonight show on Wednesday.
Perhaps Lemon was expecting the standard liberal answers from Rodriguez about what to do with the illegal children flooding across the border from Central American countries. Instead, Rodriguez shocked him as in can see in this video (and after the jump) with an answer that took him completely by surprise.
DON LEMON: So Paul, let me start with you. We're a nation of immigrants. Look out there tonight at the Statue of Liberty. We have compassion for children. Why are we so divided in this country as to what to do about this problem?
PAUL RODRIGUEZ, COMEDIAN/ACTOR: I don't think we are divided. I think America has its heart in the right place. We need to be compassionate. We need to be strong and enforce our laws.
It is precisely why we should make it clear in these countries that regardless of the -- of the trauma that they're obviously going through. But name me a Latin American country that doesn't have poor people. We have to set laws. We have to let them know that it isn't the land of milk and honey, that life isn't easy here.
You know, my heart goes out to the parents that have to traumatize their kids to go through Mexico. They must go through terrible abuse. But at the same time, if we accept these children and we don't repatriate them, it's only going to send out a clear signal to everyone in Latin America that, if you get to America, you will stay here. And then, if you think those numbers are big now, it's hard to trust the statistics.
LEMON: People -- people may be surprised to hear that coming from someone who is an immigrant.
RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely. But, you know, there are ways to come to this country, you know. There are ways; there are legal ways. Look, once they're here, I'm not saying to be cruel to them or anything like that. But if we -- if we accept -- let's say we accept these children, we let them stay here in America, we give them good homes, what is this going to say to everybody else? Are we prepared to be overwhelmed? Because that's exactly what's going to happen.
Sorry for the your discomfort, Don. However, every once in a while you will have a guest that will veer away from his expected liberal script.