Politics

‘The Issue Is Not that Migrants Commit Crimes’

On Friday’s broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” Biden Campaign Co-Chair Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) reacted to the killing of Laken Riley by saying that while any criminals should face the fullest prosecution, “when Donald Trump was in office, over a million migrants were released. I’m sure that there was a fraction of those migrants who also committed crimes.” She also said in another part of the interview that “it has been immigrant labor, the immigrant workforce that has actually propped up our economy. The challenge we face is that Congress has not created legal pathways for them.”

Escobar said, “[I]t is impossible to deport every undocumented person in this country. There simply are not the resources, nor is it advantageous to us. I’m sure you’ve seen the reports, Jim, that it has been immigrant labor, the immigrant workforce that has actually propped up our economy. The challenge we face is that Congress has not created legal pathways for them. We can have both a manageable immigration system and a well-managed border, but it takes congressional action.”

Host Jim Acosta then asked, “But when you have cases like the case down in Georgia, the case up in New York where you have migrants committing crimes that get a lot of attention, horrific crimes, is there a need on the president’s part to start calling some of this out? Even though you look at crime in these cities where migrants have been bused up to places like New York and so on, crime is actually coming down in those places. But you do have these high-profile cases. Does the president need to speak out more on some of these cases?”

Escobar responded, “Look, every human being, from the president, to members of Congress, to every American, mourns the loss of anyone, and we need to see justice prevail, criminals prosecuted. But, as you mentioned, the fact of the matter is, immigrants commit crimes at less significant rates than native-born Americans. And in communities where migrants have been bused, crime has gone down. Anyone who commits such a horrific crime absolutely needs to be prosecuted within the full extent of the law. But also, the fact of the matter is, when Donald Trump was in office, over a million migrants were released. I’m sure that there was a fraction of those migrants who also committed crimes. The issue is not that migrants commit crimes. The issue is, we have not reformed a system that is badly broken, and it’s been Republicans standing in the way of that every year that we’ve tried this for decades. We can still do this, but we need Republicans to have the spine to come to the table and take a vote.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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