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Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., suggested on CNN on Tuesday that the best way to solve the illegal immigration crisis is to simply legalize more immigration.
CNN host and chief correspondent in Washington, Jake Tapper, noted that border arrests have risen, asking Jayapal about how blue states can share the burden.
Jayapal responded by suggesting they already do, and appeared to be a swipe at Republican leaders like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Well, blue states are already sharing the burden because people are actually being transported across the country to different states. We have a lot of people that we welcome to Washington state, and we’re proud of that, but they don’t’ You can don’t do it by being tricked into getting on a bus and then being shipped to places that aren’t ready to receive them yet,” Jayapal replied. “That’s number one.”
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She then suggested that Republicans have exacerbated the crisis and have no interest in solving it.
“Number two, Republicans have no interest in trying to fix this. Remember, Jake, when Donald Trump was president, in March 2019, he actually ended the support we gave to Central American countries to actually stop — you know, help people in their country so they wouldn’t necessarily feel like they have to make the journey here,” Jayapal claimed.
The congresswoman then seemed to suggest that by restricting immigration, Trump was somehow triggering a spike in massive illegal immigration.
“Number two, [Trump] introduced all these things that ruled out legal ways for people to come to this country. Let me tell you that when we told the Haitians that they could actually come to the ports of entry and there was a legal way to enter this country, they suddenly did. 97 percent of Haitians do it that way,” she claimed.
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Jayapal claimed that “If we had legal proceedings, people would use those legal proceedings.”
She then suggested that too much emphasis has been placed on funding border security.
“And finally, don’t tell me we need more money at the border,” she said. “We have continued to increase the money at the border, but we have not done it by also solving the legal immigration system and giving people the opportunity and ways to enter here legally.”
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California Democrat Rep. Raul Ruiz similarly accused Republicans of exacerbating the immigration and border crisis during a Tuesday interview on MSNBC.