On Tuesday’s broadcast of “CNN News Central,” Biden 2024 co-Chair Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) responded to arguments that, in 2017, under then-President Donald Trump, the numbers of crossings at the border were much lower than they are now even though immigration law hasn’t really changed by stating that one provision was family separation and another was struck down in court.
Coons said, “Many of my colleagues are saying, oh, Joe Biden could fix it any time he wants, no, he can’t. This bill contains emergency authorities that Donald Trump asked for when he was President, that Joe Biden, our President, asked for in his first State of the Union. We need to change the law and provide the resources. This bill would include $14 billion for deportations, for increased asylum hearings, for hiring more Border Patrol officers. I’ll remind you, the head of the Border Patrol union, one of the most conservative people I’ve ever met…he’s endorsed this deal, saying it would make our border safer and more secure, and yet, Republicans are walking away.”
Co-host Boris Sanchez then asked, “I do want to zero in on that objection that you mentioned on the substance of the bill from Trump and other Republicans. They argue that the laws that we have on the books, if President Biden followed them, would ease the current state of crisis at the border. They specifically mention that 2017 saw a lower number of migrant crossings — one of the lowest in history, and the laws haven’t really changed that much. They say that what changed was the enforcement and specifically who is in the White House. Obviously, in 2017, that was Donald Trump. What’s your response to that?”
Coons responded, “My response is, one of the measures that Donald Trump took was cruel and was decried by everyone here, Republican and Democrat, intentionally separating parents and children to deter families from trying to come to the border. One of the other steps that he took was ruled invalid, illegal by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California, Arizona, a big chunk of our border. That’s one of the areas where President Biden and this bipartisan group that has negotiated for months is trying to give the President emergency authority. That would be to the benefit of either President Biden or a future president. The fact [that] they’re walking away from that shows how deeply unserious they are.”
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