Just months after accusing President Donald Trump of trying to “manufacture” a crisis on America’s southern border, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tried to blame the president for the current exacerbated state of the crisis.
Standing in front of a widely-reported picture of a migrant father and daughter who drowned trying to cross the border illegally, Schumer said that Trump’s “actions at the border are a whirlwind of incompetence leading to pictures like this.”
“We’ve got to change our policies,” Schumer said. “So, president Trump, if you want to know the real reason there’s chaos at the border, look in the mirror.
“Mr. President, you are president of the United States,” Schumer added. “You are head of the executive branch. You control what’s happening at the border. And much of what’s happening at the border, president Trump, stems from the chaos and mismanagement in your administration.”
Ironically, despite unequivocally blaming the president for the current state of the border crisis, Schumer also criticized the president for “playing all the political game of blame, blame, blame” rather than fixing the problem.
However, just a few months ago — contrary to warnings from the administration and the growing number of asylum-seeking border crossers — Schumer said that there was no humanitarian crisis at the border, and accused the president of using “the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear, and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration,” in response to a presidential address on the Oval Office.
In reality, since Schumer’s January allegation — the administration has been dealing with month after month after month of record numbers of border apprehensions and changing democraphics driven by a combination of what National Review editor Rich Lowry describes as “bizarre asylum rules” and inadequate security at the southern border.
When Congress failed to come up with a solution to provide for border security later in the year, the president followed through on his previous threat to declare a national emergency in order to start building a border wall. Trump would later veto Congress’ efforts to stop that declaration.
Additionally, the administration has also resorted to putting pressure on the Mexican government to beef up security of its own southern border in an effort to curb flows of potential border crossers before they get to the United States. Recently, Mexico has deployed a massive force of 15,000 troops to its border. Schumer criticized the tactic and then criticized the president after a deal was reached.
Meanwhile, it has been almost two months since the administration requested emergency border funding to address the ongoing crisis, and a supplemental measure addressing it only passed the House Tuesday evening (where funding bills have to begin, per the Constitution.) That spending package, however, contains no funding for additional border security measures.
Furthermore, the immigration policy origins of the current asylum-driven crisis are similar to the origins of the crisis that the U.S. experienced five years ago during the summer of 2014 during which then-President Obama warned Central American about the danger of making journey to the U.S. in order to claim asylum: “Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back; more importantly, they might not make it.”
Video Schumer’s full floor speech can be found on C-Span.