Crenshaw slams MSNBC host for claiming congressman tore 'very young children from their parents’ arms'
Crenshaw: Biden administration ‘won’t admit real crisis on the border’
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, on migrants with names on terror watch list crossing the border.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, traded jabs with MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan Friday after he accused the congressman of “tearing very young children from their parents’ arms” in reference to Republican immigration policies.
Hasan was responding to a tweet from Crenshaw condemning the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, where thousands of migrants, including unaccompanied minors, await entry into the U.S. or deportation.
“It’s as if we had a solution to this already and then some guy came in and totally screwed it all up,” Crenshaw tweeted.
Hasan accused the Texas congressman of tearing families apart — “something described as ‘torture’ by Physicians for Human Rights,” he tweeted, referencing the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy that led to the separation of thousands of migrant parents from their children.
Crenshaw then called Hasan a “fake partisan ‘journalist'” and a “hack.”
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“The solution was Remain in Mexico and Asylum Cooperation Agreements with the northern triangle countries. But hey, keep pushing to bankroll cartels and human smugglers. So much compassion!” he tweeted.
Hasan fired back with a series of tweets sharing articles from TIME Magazine, Human Rights Watch and Politifact criticizing the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy, saying it facilitated human trafficking and other abuses among migrants who could not enter the U.S.
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Hasan tinvited Crenshaw onto his MSNBC show, to which Crenshaw replied, “Gladly.”
Crenshaw visited the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this month.
Trump expanded his “Migrant Protection Protocols” policy in response to a massive increase in Central American families and children trying to cross the border in May 2019. The policy forced asylum-seekers to await U.S. immigration court hearings in Mexico. It was unquestionably effective at deterring asylum — less than 1% have won their cases, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
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Asylum-seekers, however, were exposed to violence in Mexico, as documented by advocacy group Human Rights First and others. Attorneys were difficult to find in Mexico.
Other Trump-era policies included fast-track asylum proceedings inside U.S. Customs and Border Protection holding facilities, where access to attorneys was next to impossible. Agreements were struck with Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for the U.S. to send asylum-seekers to the Central American countries with an opportunity to seek protection there instead.
Migrants queue at the El Chaparral border crossing to receive information about the asylum process in the US. Starting this Friday. (Photo by Stringer/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Biden quickly jettisoned those Trump policies as cruel and inhumane but has kept in place Trump’s pandemic-related expulsion powers with the exception of children traveling alone.
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As roughly 4,500 children wait in Border Patrol facilities unequipped for long-term detention, with some sleeping on floors, Biden’s Health and Human Services office has rushed to open holding sites across the country and tried to expedite its processes for releasing children in custody. About 9,500 minors are in HHS custody.
Republican lawmakers and pundits have criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the influx of migrants at the border, with many calling the situation a “crisis” and accusing Democrats of hypocrisy after they pushed the narrative that former President Trump was putting “kids in cages” when he was in office.
Miguel David Fajardo, 8, a migrant from Honduras, rests at a plaza near the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge point of entry into the U.S., after he, his 13-year-old brother and their mother were caught trying to sneak into the U.S. and deported. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Spin and semantics aside, migration flows to the U.S. from Mexico are surging in a major way for the third time in seven years.
Border encounters rose sharply during Trump’s final months as president, from an unusually low 17,106 last April to 74,108 in December. Last month, encounters topped 100,000 for the first time since a four-month streak in 2019.
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The Border Patrol encountered 561 unaccompanied children on Monday, up from an average daily peak of 370 during Trump’s presidency in May 2019 and 354 during a peak in Barack Obama’s presidency in June 2014. A U.S. official provided Monday’s total to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was not intended for public release. The daily average was 332 in February, up 60% from a month earlier.
Biden wants Congress to give $4 billion to address root causes of migration in Central America such as poverty and violence, which have driven people to the U.S. for decades, including a surge of children in 2014.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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