ABC News omitted former president Obama’s claim that open borders are “unsustainable” from the televised portion of his interview with the network.
“Immigration is tough. It always has been because, on the one hand, I think we are naturally a people that wants to help others. And we see tragedy and hardship and families that are desperately trying to get here so that their kids are safe, and they’re in some cases fleeing violence or catastrophe,” Obama said in a segment of the interview that was edited out of the televised version but appeared online.”At the same time, we’re a nation state. We have borders. The idea that we can just have open borders is something that . . . as a practical matter, is unsustainable.”
ABC aired the portion of the interview in which Obama accused the GOP of obstructing immigration reform in Congress. The network also aired the segment in which Obama defended his administration’s granting temporary legal status to Haitian refugees after the 2010 earthquake that ravaged the country — an issue which Biden is now confronting amid the wave of Haitians arriving at the southern border in recent weeks.
The network also skipped over Obama’s criticism of open borders during its evening show, ABC World News Tonight, which aired select portions of the president’s interview.
The former president’s repudiation of “open borders,” although mild, is a departure from the recent rhetoric of Biden and Democratic lawmakers, who have repeatedly insisted that the border is closed despite abundant evidence to the contrary.
While members of the administration, including White House press secretary Jen Psaki, have insisted the border is not open, Republicans have argued that Biden’s reversal of a number of Trump-era measures coupled with his relaxed rhetoric on border enforcement have created a de facto “open border.”
For instance, Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases were being adjudicated, led to low migration levels from Central America for much of the latter half of Trump term. The policy also effectively ended “catch and release,” the practice of releasing migrants into the interior while they await an immigration hearing in court.
In August alone, over 200,000 migrants have been received at the border, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. Up to 17,000 Haitian migrants crossed the Rio Grande river and camped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas in the last week alone, over ten thousand of whom were admitted into the country under the honor system pretense that they will present themselves for their court date in a couple of years. However, if historical patterns repeat, a large percentage of those migrants will skip their hearings.
On Wednesday, Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson argued that the southern border is currently “sovereign and secure,” even though over ten thousands migrants were apprehended in the last couple of weeks.
Republican Texas Representative Chip Roy blasted Jackson’s claim and pointed to his state’s role in maintaining stability at the border, spending its own funds to control the spiraling situation that the federal government is allegedly refusing to provide.
“The state of Texas is the only thing standing between absolute complete lawlessness and a wide open border for our country,” he said.
Roy urged Jackson to meet with Border Patrol agents and hear their perspectives about the border crisis, which he suggested Jackson is pretending does not exist.