Billionaire Howard Schultz spoke about border security on Thursday during a Fox News town hall.
The lifelong Democrat and former chairman and CEO of Starbucks is considering a third-party run for president, and his answers reflected his values.
“It’s a question of humanity and legal immigration,” he said, responding to the issue of border security.
He said he went down to the southern border with Mexico, and “what I saw is a fracturing of American values and of humanity.”
With views straddling both sides of a deep political divide, he said, “We need fierce, strict levels of control on that border,” a position that squares with that of the GOP. But he also said America must stop the separation of families at the border, while disagreeing with Democrats who want to suspend funding of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Homeland Security officials have been grappling with an ever-growing number of Central American children and families coming over the border. Arrests soared in February to a 12-year-high and more than half of those stopped arrived as families, many of them asylum seekers who generally turn themselves in instead of trying to elude capture. Guatemala and Honduras have replaced Mexico as the top countries for these migrants, a remarkable shift from only a few years ago.
Schultz announced on "60 Minutes" in late January that he was mulling an independent bid for the White House, and the reaction from Dems, who fear he'll divide voters and help cement a second Trump term, has been chilly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.