A CNN panel scrambled to argue in favor of physical barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border, claiming that calls to abolish ICE or tear down existing walls play “right into President Trump’s hands.”
Guest host Dana Bash addressed the topic on Sunday morning’s “State of the Union” on CNN, asking whether calls to tear down existing walls should be considered.
“I want to talk about what a prominent Democrat who ran in Texas and lost, your former colleague Beto O’Rourke, said about the wall,” Bash began. “He said basically that he believes that the wall should be taken down in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. What do you think?” (RELATED: Why Was There A Fence At Beto’s ‘We Are Against Walls’ Event?)
Democratic Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown was the first to respond. “I don’t think we should be removing physical barriers … There are physical barriers that impede pedestrian movement. We focused on funding those barriers that resemble the designs currently deployed. So that’s what we ought to do. No nation in the world that doesn’t protect its borders. I reject the idea that we should take down walls.”
Bash then asked whether O’Rourke’s call to tear down walls might hurt him should he choose to go forward with a 2020 presidential campaign.
“I don’t know. I don’t know if it is or not,” said former Democratic Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, adding that she would not remove current structures either. “I totally agree with you. As Democrats have been saying, some portions need physical barriers. Some need technological barriers.”
“This is playing right into President Trump’s hands,” Republican commentator Linda Chavez added. “Really, this, you know, ‘abolish ICE, tear down the wall.’ We do need walls in some places.”
She agreed with many who have opposed a concrete wall that spans the entire U.S.-Mexico border — which is not what President Donald Trump is currently requesting — “but having a wall in California, having a wall in Texas where there are ports of entries and where you want to protect the area around it, it did, in fact, diminish the flow of people illegally into the United States when those sections of the wall were built.”