Manchin calls border situation a ‘crisis’
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is calling the wave of immigrants, including many children, arriving at the border a “crisis.”
President Biden and the White House have avoided the use of the word “crisis” to describe the border situation. A growing number of people have been arriving at the border and Republicans have gone on the attack, saying Biden is to blame for drawing back former President Trump’s more restrictive policies.
Manchin in comments to CNN appeared to agree the Biden administration has sent the wrong message to immigrants, or at least that it had been taken the wrong way.
“Whatever message was sent — it was sure interpreted the wrong way,” Manchin said during an interview with CNN this week. “It’s a crisis — oh it’s a crisis.”
Manchin did say he supported Biden’s proposed immigration reforms.
Last month, the administration rolled out a comprehensive immigration plan that would give 11 million undocumented people a path to legal U.S. citizenship.
“The last four years of misguided policies have exacerbated the already broken immigration system and highlighted the critical need for reform,” Biden said in a statement at the time, promising his proposal would “address the wrongdoings of the past administration and restore justice, humanity, and order to our immigration system.”
The Trump administration was widely criticized for turning away migrants at the border and separating migrant children from their parents as a means of deterring illegal immigration.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said during a visit to the border with other Republican lawmakers on Monday that Biden needs to change his rhetoric on immigration.
“I know the president is going to travel this week. This is where you should bring Air Force One. This is where he should look the people in the eye. This is where he should talk to the border agents, and let them know that this is beyond the crisis,” McCarthy said.
Other Republicans at the border this week called on Biden to “admit” he “made a mistake with this policy.”
“Individuals that they have on the watch list for terrorism are now starting to exploit the southern border,” Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) said.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) predicted there is likely not enough support in Congress to pass Biden’s proposed immigration reforms and suggested Democrats tackle the issue using a more piecemeal approach.
“I don’t see a means for reaching that,” Durbin told CNN. “I want it. I think we are much more likely to deal with discrete elements.”
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