‘That’s not true’: MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan, GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw spar over border claims

WASHINGTON — Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on MSNBC with host Mehdi Hasan devolved into a heated debate Sunday on the situation at the southern border of the U.S.

In the more than 16-minute exchange, which consisted of many instances of crosstalk and interruptions, Crenshaw argued that the surge of migrants trying to cross the border is a “crisis” created by President Joe Biden, who reversed some of the hardline immigration policies put in place by former President Donald Trump. 

Hasan host displayed a chart showing that the numbers of migrants apprehended at the border has been increasing over the last nine months, in order to refute Republicans’ attempts to paint Biden as the cause of increases.

“Joe Biden did not inherit falling numbers,” the MSNBC host said.

‘Your life is in limbo’: Families separated by closed borders with Mexico, Canada put pressure on Biden

Hasan also played a clip of Crenshaw speaking on Fox News, where he blamed Biden for the surge of migrants. They argued over whether Crenshaw claimed that the Biden administration was not deporting people.

“If you come here, we’re going to give you a bus ticket, wherever you want, and we’re not going to deport you,” Crenshaw said on Fox, imitating Biden.

“How can you say the Biden administration isn’t deporting people?” Hasan asked on his show.

“I didn’t say that,” Crenshaw interjected.

Me: “Do you know many migrants were sent to Honduras & El Salvador under what you call ‘very important’ Asylum Cooperation Agreements?”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw: “I don’t have the numbers.”
Me: “Roughly?”
Crenshaw: “I don’t have that data on me.”
Me: “Zero.”pic.twitter.com/AxOyP4tW2G

With 72% of individuals who are apprehended at the border being deported, Hasan argued, “it’s a lie to say there’s an open border.”

Crenshaw went on to say the “vast majority” of people who arrive at the border are part of family units who are not deported.

“That’s not true,” Hasan pushed back, while the discussion turned into both talking over each other.

“I would say there’s an effective open border, that’s what I would say,” Crenshaw said.

“I’m fact-checking you now. It’s not an effective open border if the vast majority get expelled,” Hasan said.

Crenshaw told Hasan he should visit the border for himself, saying migrants are showing up at the border because they believe Biden invited them to cross.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday the administration is working with several countries to disseminate the message that potential migrants should not come to the border right now, including through State Department radio ads. 

Biden’s message to potential migrants:  ‘Don’t come’ to the US amid surge at southern border

The U.S. is facing an increase of migrants trying to cross the southern border, and migrant children are being held in facilities because the administration says it is safer than trying to make their way back to their countries of origin.

The White House has so far resisted calling the situation at the border a “crisis” and says the border is closed, while Republicans blame it on the Biden administration’s reversal of Trump border policies, including the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which Crenshaw defended on Sunday.

A group of Republican lawmakers traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas earlier this month, where they decried what House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., described as, “more than a crisis, this is a human heartbreak.”

“Children, presenting at our border, who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations, is not a crisis,” Psaki said on Monday. “We feel that it is our responsibility to humanely approach this circumstance, and make sure they are treated and put in conditions that are safe.”

Psaki’s comments came the same day that Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, released photos of children in immigration facilities sleeping on mats under foil blankets, separated by plastic partitions, at a facility in the South Texas city of Donna. The lawmaker said he wanted to highlight the challenges facing border officials who have to watch so many children, and released the photos because the Biden administration has blocked media access to the facility.

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