Appearing on Friday’s MSNBC Live with Katy Tur, NBC News correspondent Jacob Soboroff was again accusing President Donald Trump of “forcing” migrants to cross the border illegally as he also blamed the Trump admnistration for the recent sharp spike in illegal border crossings per month not seen in over a decade.
Fill-in host Kristen Welker began the segment by recalling President Trump’s threats to close the border if Mexico does not do a better job of holding off the flow of illegal immigrants, and then went to Soboroff, asking him to explain why illegal border crossings are the highest in 13 years.
It didn’t take long for Soboroff to start quoting “critics” of the Trump administration. After noting that there was an increase in families crossing between ports of entry to apply for asylum, he continued:
Critics of the administration would say the answer is pretty clear-cut. You certainly have a surge of people coming, and that is not uncommon. We’ve seen that before in previous years and in previous administrations. But this administration has made it a policy to what’s called meter people at ports of entry.
And the critics of the administration say, by limiting the amount of people who can legally come in, legally seek asylum at these ports of entry, it’s forcing people to cross in between those ports of entry and adding to an already unstable situation.
As he noted the administration’s desire to change the law to get around the Flores agreement and trafficking laws so that families can be detained together for a longer time, he dismissed the notion that it would act an effective “deterrent” without noting that, by keeping detainees longer, it prevents them from being turned loose into the interior of the country to be lost. Soboroff:
And the reality is, what the administration is asking for is a couple of things: One, to detain migrant families indefintely in migrant detention as a deterrent. And the second one is to be able to turn around migrants that come into this country in order to seek asylum and send them back to their home countries immediately. And, again, critics would say that’s just putting people into more danger — a deterrent never works — people will continue to come, and you’re only exacerbating the problem.
Welker then played a clip of Texas Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar calling on DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign, and then went to Soboroff who complained that Nielsen has a “credibility problem,” and, without noting the large percentage of asylum requests that are denied and therefore waste government resources, Soboroff complained about President Trump accusing some asylum seekers of making fraudulent claims. Soboroff:
We heard the President last night talk about asylum seekers being a “big fat con job,” people are coming in to seek asylum and basically lying about their status. Well, we spoke to a very high level senior DHS official earlier today to ask what’s the percentage of fraudulent family units coming into this country, and it was one percent over the course of the summer sector of the border where they had the highest level of apprehensions, and that official couldn’t give us that statistic off hand.
Not mentioned is that around 80 or 90 percent of asylum seekers from Central American countries typically have their asylum claims rejected, and did so even during the Barack Obama administration.