MSNBC Blames Trump for 'Forcing' Illegals to Cross Desert

December 30th, 2018 11:50 PM

In the aftermath of two migrant children dying in Border Patrol custody after their fathers brought them across the border illegally, several MSNBC reporters and contributors have blamed the Trump administration for their decision to cross the desert rather than wait in line at a legal port of entry to apply for asylum.

On Friday's MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson, MSNBC correspondent Julia Hainsley complained: "More now than ever, these families are going to these remote areas because it's harder and harder to get in the legal way, They're having to wait weeks and months in some cases."

On Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC contributor Maria Teresa Kumar actually used the word "forced" as she complained about migrants risking a trip through the desert. Here's Kumar:

When they decided that they were going to start closing ports of entry -- when they were going to teargas families trying to go through the legal channels, she (DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen) and the President forced individuals to go and make more dangerous areas to cross the border.

She then blamed the administration for the children who died traveling through the desert.

Similarly, on Thursday's Velshi and Ruhle show, MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff declared:

Trump administration policies put this young boy -- Felipe Gomez Alonzo -- in a situation where he and his father decided to cross in between ports of entry, present themselves to seek asylum, and we well know that it's very difficult for people to seek asylum in the legal way people have historicallly used.

As usual, no one bothered to mention that there was always the option of applying for asylum in Mexico since doing so would be easier than illegally crossing into the United States.

Most recently, on Sunday's Up with David Gura show, frequent MSNBC guest Matt Welch of Reason Magazine complained about outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly having a part in reducing the number of refugees accepted into the country and suggested that the administration was telling migrants to "go to the desert."

He complained that "John Kelly was part of the decision-making architecture to reduce the number of refugees that we're taking inside this country" at a time when there are more refugees in the world. He soon added: "When you don't allow people to come in -- when you cut the number of legal immigrants who are allowed to come in, what's that going to do?"

After fill-in host Yasmin Vossoughian injected that some asylum seekers are being required to wait in line in Mexico before entering the U,S., Welch added:

And you -- illegally in my view -- turn them down for asylum applications when they go through legal checkpoints here -- points of entry -- that's what you're supposed to do -- show up, knock on the door. "Can I come in, please?" "'No, go to the desert." What do you think is going to happen? People are going to die in the desert -- they're going to die in ice boxes.

It was not mentioned that, even during the Obama administration, the overwhelming majority of asylum requests from Central Americans were rejected.