MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said Tuesday that there is “nothing progressive” about political leaders encouraging illegal immigration.
The “Morning Joe” panel criticized the current state of the U.S.-Mexico border by pointing to Texas authorities finding at least 46 people dead inside an 18-wheeler semi-truck in San Antonio. The Mexican foreign minister said a total of 50 died and among the deceased were 22 Mexicans, 7 Guatemalans and 2 Hondurans.
Scarborough said these tragedies will continue as long as the U.S. “keeps sending the message” that the nation does not “have laws” and therefore migrants can enter the country illegally.
“It’s kind of like when I talk about homelessness, there’s nothing progressive about having people sleeping in 10 degree weather, sleeping on grates, that’s not progressive. There’s also nothing progressive about encouraging migrants to risk their lives going across the desert to come into the United States illegally. Immigration, it is who we are, and all immigrants around the world should be given an equal chance to immigrate to America legally. Immigration makes us stronger as a nation.”
“We have to get it right,” he continued. “We have to encourage people to do it legally. We have to stop sending a message either by our words or by our deeds that you can risk sending little children across deserts to come to the United States. The second they figure out that’s not going to get them into the United States, there’s gonna be a lot of lives that are going to be saved, and we can do it in a legal way.” (RELATED: ‘Political Earthquake’: Ted Cruz Says Democrats Are ‘Panicking’ Over Their Loss Of Hispanic Support)
Scarborough said Democrats “have made the mistake” that encouraging illegal immigration would help them earn the Hispanic vote. He pointed to illegal immigration being at a 50-year low under former President Barack Obama’s administration and that he had been labeled the “Deporter-In-Chief,” despite receiving 71% of the Hispanic vote in 2012.
“They [Hispanics] want us to encourage legal immigration,” Scarborough said. “They want these types of tragedies to stop.”
Guest host Willie Geist said it is “patronizing” for Democrats to assume that Hispanic and Latino voters are backing lax immigration policies and said they do not want to call the situation at the border a “crisis,” though it is one.
Hispanic voters have fled the Democratic Party during President Joe Biden’s administration, though historically largely backing Democratic leaders for decades. A May 18 Quinnipiac poll found only 26% of Hispanic respondents that said they approved of how President Joe Biden is handling his job while 60% said they disapproved.
Inflation and supply chain issues have ranked the highest in Hispanic voters’ priorities and has caused them to shift political parties.
Newly-elected Republican Texas Rep. Mayra Flores won a southern Texan district that had not elected a Republican in several years.