Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

On Meet The Press, moderator Kristen Welker allowed Sen. Lindsey Graham to lie about the border with no challenges to his statements.


Kristen Welker allows Lindsey Graham to lie about the border on #MeetThePress with zero pushback. Welker seems more fascinated by the idea of a Senate deal than correcting lies by Graham.

— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) December 17, 2023

Transcript via Meet The Press:


– there’s going to be a deal before the new year?


No. I think this will go into next year. I’ve been talking to the people at the table. The White House got engaged five days ago. They sent over a supplemental with border security provisions that did nothing to change policy. We’ve been talking to them since September. Five days ago, they finally sat at the table. Senator Lankford’s doing a good job. The bottom line here is, we feel like we’re being jammed. We’re not anywhere close to a deal. It’ll go into next year. And let me tell you why it’s important to get a good border security deal. What Congressman Castro said was pretty offensive. According to the FBI director, last week, he’s never seen more threats to the homeland than he does today. Wherever he looks, he sees blinking lights. The border has been obliterated since January ’21 until now. We’ve had 6 million people come to date. There are 3.6 million on schedule to come this year alone. The policy choices of the Biden administration has made the border a dangerous place to come to. America’s under threat. According to the FBI director since October the 7th, jihadist groups want to attack us because we’re helping Israel. I’ve never been more worried about a 9/11 than I am right now, and our border has been obliterated. And we’re not going to give in on some Band-Aid fix.


I want to talk about the proposals that are under discussion. But, just to be very clear, you say you’re not close to a deal. But it sounds like there has been some measured progress –


Definitely. Definitely.


– like both sides are coming closer together –


Definitely progress, yes –


How would you characterize that progress?


Oh, the only way we’re ever going to get a security border is we’ve got to make them do things they don’t want to do, but they’re getting there. It was a choice by the Biden administration to change policy that led to this debacle. But there is progress on asylum. There’s a ways to go on parole. You tell me Ukraine’s important, and I agree with you. To all the national security experts, when you say, “If we don’t help Ukraine, they could lose, and the world would fall into chaos; Putin will keep going,” I agree with you. But if you’re a national security expert, you should have the same energy and vigor to fix a broken border.


And of course, the Biden administration has argued there are a complex set of factors which have led to the migrants –


I don’t buy that. I don’t buy that.


– who are crossing the border –


I don’t buy that.


Let me ask you – one of –


Can I just comment on that? You chose to undo Trump policies. You gave in to people like Mr. Castro. You’ve created a nightmare. It’s bitten you in the ass, and you need to change policy. This is not unseen factors. This is a policy choice that’s led to the border being obliterated, and we’re not going to take a Band-Aid approach as a solution.

Trump’s Border Policies Were A Complete Failure

According to the conservative Cato Institute, Donald Trump’s border policies were a failure:

President Trump’s top policy priority was supposedly “border security.” But government data show that he failed to improve it. Border Patrol recorded 41 percent more successful illegal entries in fiscal year 2019 than in 2016 and was on pace for 47 percent more through four months of 2020. As he left office in January, reports indicate that the numbers have reached even greater heights.


Yet despite this supposed focus, the government records show that Border Patrol was observing more immigrants sneaking into the country than when President Trump took office. In fiscal year 2016, Border Patrol agents witnessed about 100,000 successful entries. By 2018, the number had risen to nearly 128,000. In 2019, it hit 150,000. Through four months of 2020, it was on pace to hit almost 156,000.

Lindsey Graham and congressional Republicans want to return to a failed policy for political reasons, not to solve a policy problem.

The Biden Border Policy Appears To Be Working


An analysis of President Biden’s border policy from the Council On Foreign Relations found:

Biden is trying to change the perverse incentives driving illegal crossings and encourage migrants to enter the country legally. With Title 42 finally set to expire in early May, long after the end of virtually all other pandemic-related restrictions, the Department of Homeland Security has published a proposed rule aimed at preventing what is otherwise expected to be an even larger surge of migration. The stick is a big one: With some exceptions, the administration plans to reject asylum claims from anyone who crosses the border illegally. But the carrot is sizeable too: Since this January, as many as 30,000 migrants from the major sending countries of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela are being admitted each month at the legal ports, as long as they have a U.S. sponsor to care for them on arrival. They can fly directly to the United States, forgoing the dangerous and costly journey across Mexico. For those already waiting at the border in Mexico, Customs and Border Protection has set up a new electronic sign-up system on an app called CBP One, which allows asylum seekers to make appointments for their claims to be heard.

The administration has been rolling out versions of the scheme over the past year, and it appears to be showing positive results. Under the Uniting for Ukraine initiative, the United States has admitted nearly 300,000 Ukrainian refugees, thousands of whom had been trying to reach the United States via Mexico. Ukrainians have been offered stays of up to two years under a provision known as humanitarian parole—once in the United States, they are eligible to work and to apply for asylum protection if they wish. The scheme was expanded to Venezuelans in October 2022 and then to Haitians, Cubans, and Nicaraguans in January. A key part of the new initiatives has been Mexico’s willingness to take back citizens of those countries if they are caught attempting to cross illegally.

The results have been immediate. Border encounters of Ukrainians trying to cross illegally fell from an average of 940 per day before the initiative to only around one dozen per day. The number of unlawful crossings by Venezuelans, Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans fell from 84,000 last December to just 2,000 in February. Overall, border apprehensions in January and February fell by 42 percent from the December 2022 record.

Kristen Welker Allowed Lindsey Graham To Lie

Meet The Press, like almost all of the Sunday news shows, is a form of access journalism. Welker doesn’t feel that she can challenge Republicans like Graham, or they will refuse to come on her show. Already, most top Republicans avoid the Sunday network shows and can be found on Fox News programming. Shows like Fox’s Sunday Morning Futures provide a friendly and welcoming environment to their talking points with little to no pushback.

Kristen Welker and Meet The Press allowed Sen. Graham to misinform people because apparently, having Republicans on as guests matters more to these programs than the facts.

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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.

Awards and  Professional Memberships

Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association

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