Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) claimed that President Donald Trump’s attempts to secure the southern border “make us less safe” and only work to increase division in the United States.
Over the past few days, President Trump has been proposing temporary solutions to address the crisis at the southern border. As IJR previously reported, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers have been hitting capacity, forcing Border Patrol agents to release migrants into the United States.
Because Democrats have been unwilling to work with Republicans on legislation to address the problems at the border, President Trump noted that he is considering sending migrants to be processed in sanctuary cities — most of which are run by Democrats.
As IJR previously reported, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed this could be a “win” because sanctuary cities “wanted” migrants to be allowed into the U.S.
During an interview about his 2020 presidential bid Saturday night, Booker told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that he believed this policy would “make [Americans] less safe.”
NEWS: @CoryBooker said @realDonaldTrump is “trying to pit Americans against each other and make us less safe” by threatening to release undocumented immigrants from the border into sanctuary cities in an exclusive interview with moderator @margbrennan https://t.co/3DqCvXjMaA pic.twitter.com/y2vRStlcPr
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) April 14, 2019
“I say he’s trying to pit Americans against each other and make us less safe. […] He is injecting fear into our country and so if he was looking to solve a problem, he wouldn’t be doing things to divide this country against itself. Beware of anybody that’s trying to tell you to be afraid in the strongest country in the world as opposed to showing our strength and our courage by pulling people together to find common sense solutions to solve this problem.”
While Booker may think President Trump’s attempts to secure the border at any cost are making Americans “less safe,” some border patrol experts claim it is just the opposite.
As former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson — who served under President Barack Obama — explained, the system is at capacity and “overwhelmed,” leaving the whole operation at the border in a state of “crisis.”
When the whole system is bogged down, the security aspects of the mission at the border can be compromised. Recently, the violent gang MS-13 alerted their members to the fact that there are “gaps” in U.S. immigration laws that allow entry, especially if traveling with a child. Additionally, MS-13 members have been caught crossing illegally at points that are less secure. Beyond the potential gang members that could breach these gaps, border patrol agents must also worry about drug smugglers — both of which leave Americans less safe.
As IJR previously reported, Obama-era Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan claimed that sanctuary cities contribute to the migration problem Americans are facing — an issue Trump is clearly hoping to address with his latest comments.
It isn’t yet clear if President Trump has the legal authority to follow through on his threats to move migrants to sanctuary cities. Immigration is certain to remain at the forefront of the political conversation as Booker and 17 other Democrats battle to take on President Trump in 2020.