Bernie Sanders: Some migrants lack ‘credible claim’ for asylum

Bernie Sanders: Some migrants lack ‘credible claim’ for asylum

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday said not all migrants in a group of thousands of Central Americans at the southern border have credible asylum claims, but criticized the Trump administration’s response to crisis.

“No, I don’t, and I think you have to look at it case by case. But I think what is most important is this country finally is going to have to deal with comprehensive immigration reform,” Sanders said on CNN when asked if every migrant has a “credible claim” to asylum in the U.S.

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“So the time is long overdue, and I hope that with Democrats now in control over the House, we’re going to be moving forward to serious comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship. What we do not want to do is demonize desperate men, women and children who are leaving the horror of Central America, who are looking for asylum,” he added. 

The crisis at the border reached new heights over the weekend as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents fired tear gas at migrants that CBP says tried to illegally cross the border and assaulted its agents.

Some migrants “engaged in dozens of assaults on agents and officers. Four agents were hit with rocks, but were wearing protective gear and did not suffer serious injuries,” CBP said in a statement commenting on the use of tear gas.

 

“They had to use because they were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas. And here's the bottom line: Nobody's coming into our country unless they come in legally,” President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE told reporters Monday regarding the tear gas.

Democrats were quick to criticize CBP’s response after pictures were published of families with small children fleeing from the tear gas.

“The tear-gassing of women and children at the border is an atrocity. It’s a violation of human rights. And it is a grotesque betrayal of our founding promise, as a nation built by immigrants,” Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeCongress should lift the ban on medical cannabis access for military veterans House Democrats launch process to replace Cummings on Oversight panel Democratic lawmakers, 2020 candidates pay tribute to Conyers MORE (D-Calif.) said Monday. 

 

President Trump on Monday defended the use of tear gas, calling it a “very minor form of tear gas” and questioning why the migrants were trying to cross the border.

The controversy comes as Congress works to pass a spending bill next week that is needed to keep parts of the government open. The White House has demanded $5 billion of funding for Trump’s border wall, but it is unclear if Democrats will agree to that figure.