“No doubt about it, our border is secure,” Pressley said Wednesday on CNN. “And we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, and we have to fix a broken system —”
“You think it is secure? You think the border is secure? Or it is not secure?” Tapper interrupted her.
Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley *insists* “our border is secure” pic.twitter.com/HrAalHjJAL
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 28, 2023
“I believe that we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis and there needs to be federal investment to support those migrant families,” Pressley said, adding that the crisis is a consequence of “longstanding broken policies.”
“I don’t disagree with this being a humanitarian crisis at all, but just to get some clarity on this … do you think that the border is secure? Is that what you said?” Tapper asked again.
“Yes, the border is secure,” Pressley said, adding that the border situation is one reason Congress should avoid the impending government shutdown.
“But if you have millions of undocumented migrants coming into the country, how is the border secure?” Tapper pressed.
“Jake, this is not a new crisis,” Presley said, adding that the situation requires “more political will and commitment.”
“I’m not disagreeing with anything you’re saying except for the idea that the border is secure. I mean if you have people crossing the border, it’s just by definition not secure,” Tapper said.
He added that some critics argue the porous border encourages migrants to put themselves at the mercy of smugglers who prey on them.
“It just seems like such a refusal to acknowledge reality, to say that the border is secure when we all know millions of people are crossing the border illegally every year,” Tapper said.
“Jake, and that is a consequence of a number of things,” Pressley said, mentioning “climate refugees,” as well as people fleeing violence and corruption.
“Okay, it sounds like in there, you acknowledge that there are millions of people crossing the border illegally, which would mean that the border is not secure,” Tapper said, adding “would you grant me the point that the border is not secure?”
“Jake, that is a conversation for another day,” Pressley responded.
The migrant crisis at the border has been ramping up in recent weeks.
In August, there were nearly 233,000 migrant encounters at the southern border, the highest August on record, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said. That number marks a jump from under 184,000 encounters in July.
Last month’s numbers are also a significant rise from August a year ago, when there were only 204,000 migrant encounters. September’s numbers are already tens of thousands of encounters higher than last year as well.
Meanwhile, several major cities, particularly New York and Chicago, have been struggling with a migrant crisis as tens of thousands of newcomers show up on their doorstep.
New York City is struggling to metabolize more than 113,000 migrants who have shown up in the city since last spring, nearly 60,000 of whom are still being housed on the city’s dime. The city has already spent more than $1.2 billion on the migrants.
Chicago has seen an influx of about 13,500 migrants recently and has already spent at least $250 million on the issue.