U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, had his hands full debating immigration policy with MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan, who was all but representing the Biden administration. According to the network, the White House “is attempting to solve the influx of migrants at the border.” This being the same influx they are largely responsible for.
Their joust began on Twitter and, given that Crenshaw is a former U.S. Navy SEAL who did five tours of duty, he had no issue facing off with Hasan on national television.
For his part, Hasan was quick to talk over the congressman, and their back and forth was hard to follow at times. The MSNBC host suggested that the United States has a moral obligation to look out for the interests of children who show up on the border and Crenshaw countered to say 70% of these “children” are young males over the age of 15.
Targeting immigration policies under former President Donald Trump, Hasan cited their online exchange to say 70,000 people were sent to Mexico under the Remain in Mexico policy out of 1.5 million people encountered at the border — he didn’t cite his source — noting that this is just 5% and hardly a solution.
“They’re not sent,” Crenshaw said. “The point of an Asylum Cooperation Agreement is that you don’t have to go through the human smuggling routes to get to the border and claim asylum. You can do it at your home country or a neighboring country.”
“So it’s much more humane to do that instead of saying, ‘Hey, go pay off these drug cartels.’ You know drug cartels are making $30 million a month off of these policies?” he added.
Here’s the intense Twitter exchange, with the British-American journalist responding to Crenshaw tweeting that “we had a solution to this already and then some guy came in and totally screwed it all up.”
No, you fake partisan “journalist.”
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!
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) March 19, 2021
As for the 5% claim, the GOP lawmaker said it’s “an incentive” structure.
“So when people believe, ‘Hey, I might get sent back to Mexico. I was going to claim asylum even though, you know, I don’t really have a valid claim to it, there’s less of an incentive to come across,” Crenshaw said.
“Says you,” Hasan interjected.
When his guest started talking about data, Hasan countered by citing PolitiFact, as if the left-leaning fact checking site is an authority.
The MSNBC host kept pressing Crenshaw to answer how many people were sent to El Salvador and Honduras under the Asylum Cooperation Agreement, and when he said he didn’t have the number, Hasan gleefully replied that it was zero.
“That’s because it’s not — I just explained to you what the policy is,” Crenshaw replied. “You’re not listening.”
They went back and forth, with the lawmaker continuing to stress that it’s an incentive program intended to encourage people to apply for asylum in their own country.
“Are you confused?” he asked Hasan at one point, going so far as to tell the host he was “making up” claims.
“You’re confused about what that policy is.”
Hasan moved on to discount the Migrant Protection Protocols program initiated under Trump to return illegal immigrants to Mexico. He citied a left-wing open border organization to claim “reports of abuse, kidnapping, murder, torture in Mexico thanks to this program.”
“You’re okay with that? You’re okay with the cost of that program, the human cost?” he asked his guest.
“That’s not caused by that program,” Crenshaw insisted. “That’s caused by human smuggling issues.”
He added that migrants face those risks if they leave the state-run facilities in Mexico.
Hasan closed out the segment by making his intended point — which has become the prescribed media narrative — that the crisis on the border is Trump’s fault.
“Many people would argue that the Trump Administration made it impossible to apply for asylum here, which is one of the main reasons we have this crisis,” he said.
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