Thursday on CNN, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) weighed in on the recent surge of immigrants reaching the United States’ border with Mexico.
CNN “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota asked Merkley if he believes the situation at the border can be considered a crisis.
Merkley said the border is “approaching a crisis.” He argued the current surge is a result of the Trump administration stranding and “mistreating” children “for months” or even “for years.”
“Well, it’s approaching a crisis. What we have is a surge of children. More than half of them were the children that were stranded for months, some for years by the Trump administration in Mexico under completely intolerable circumstances,” Merkley stated. “And now that the border is not closed, they’re knocking on our door. And you had a set of policies that were determined to treat children very poorly, so you didn’t have essentially the systems in place under the Trump administration, and the Biden administration is creating those systems, and they’re doing it with a completely different vision and a completely different vision … from the Trump administration.”
Camerota asked if the Biden administration’s “more humane” and “more compassionate” policy of an open border compared to the Trump administration’s policy of a closed border the last four years is “spiking the numbers.”
“Well, I think it is absolutely fair to say that it’s seen as an opportunity by those children who are stranded across the border for months and years and have been waiting for the ability to knock on our door,” Merkley replied. “The question is, is it also going to be seen that way by children throughout Central America and parents throughout Central America who are in very difficult circumstances in very corrupt, oppressive regimes, and are they going to start coming north? And then we’ll see a real crisis.”
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