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Willie Nelson Talks Texas Immigration Issues

Willie Nelson
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Willie Nelson says that he thinks the U.S. needs to be taking care of the Central American children who have crossed the border.

About 60,000 children have crossed into Texas over the past year and are now housed in makeshift holding cells. According to recent news reports, dozens of children have come forward with complaints against Custom and Border Protection officers for issues related to sleep deprivation, verbal and psychological abuse, inadequate food and water and more.

“I’ve been watching, and the only thing we can do is take care of those kids, whatever it takes,” Nelson tells Rolling Stone. “Take them in, give them some medical attention. I’m sure there are homes all over the country that would be glad to take care of one or two kids.”

Nelson, who was left to be raised by his grandparents when he was an infant, adds that this is the perfect chance for the U.S. to show its humanitarian side.

“They’re scared,” he says. “They’re being mistreated. And it’s not a good way to start off your life. But it’s a good opportunity for us to show a little bit of humanitarianism and take care of those kids.

“I know a lot of people want to send them back. I guess the closer you are to the situation, the more extreme emotions you have about it, but it seems to me the old golden rule, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’ [should apply]‘” Nelson adds. “Treat those kids like they were your kids.”

Nelson also comments on the growing popularity of his hometown of Austin, Texas, which has seen a population increase of nearly 20 percent in the last 10 years.

“Music had a lot to do with it,” he says. “You can go to Austin any day and find good music all over the place. I know some people who are not that happy because it’s getting so crowded, and they keep moving further west. But you know, it’s progress.”

NEXT: Nelson on Recording His Classic Albums

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