Congressional Democrats spend months denying the crisis at the border, but now, three times as many Democrat voters believe it’s a crisis.
By the end of 2018, the Republican majority in the House was on its way out and Senate Democrats were holding the line against Republicans in the battle over the final appropriations bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security.
The battle in that appropriations bill sparked because President Donald Trump wanted funding for a border wall to reduce the chaos at the border. Because it was an appropriations bill, Republicans needed 60 Senate votes. This standoff lasted in the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history.
Republicans argued the wall was necessary to stop the first migrant caravans making their way to the border. They argued that the border was in a state of crisis. Today, Americans know that to be true, as more than one million migrants are expected to cross the border in 2019.
At the time, Democrats denied there was a crisis. They claimed President Trump had “manufactured” the chaos at the border.
Trump has created a manufactured crisis and used his position of power to sow fear among hard-working families who are not getting paid because of his temper tantrum. #TrumpShutdown https://t.co/pIvb6FTL7D pic.twitter.com/nXiMcVODQX
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 8, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of stoking fear and reiterated their calls for him to end the shutdown https://t.co/XKguBu5J8h pic.twitter.com/IEZpsjk1YX
— POLITICO (@politico) January 9, 2019
Democratic voters bought into the narrative pushed by party leadership, with only 23% believing the situation at the border was a crisis according to a poll from CNN. Today, that percentage has more than tripled, with 74% calling the situation at the border a crisis.
During the same time frame, 71% Republicans believed there was a crisis at the border, which has now risen slightly to 82%.
The evidence is clear today that the border is in a state of crisis. Detention facilities hit capacity months ago, leaving Border Patrol agents with two options: force migrants to stay in overcrowded conditions or release them into the country with the chance that the never return for their asylum court date.
With both sides now agreeing there is a crisis, it remains unclear if that will tilt the scales in Congress. Republicans have been calling for a change to the asylum laws in the U.S., but Congress can barely agree on providing humanitarian aid. It could be a while before this crisis is actually addressed.