Chuck Schumer tours border facility, bashes Trump over immigration crisis

July 19, 2019

Chuck Schumer left the capitol for the border Friday, where he staged a photo-op to blame Trump for the crisis Schumer once said was fake.

“They’re treating them all like criminals,” Sen. Schumer (D-NY) said from the border after touring a Texas detention center. “And if you listened to the president you’d think they were all criminals. They’re not. They’re people simply seeking some … honor, decency for their children.”

The Senate Minority leader led a group of 12 Democratic senators on the visit to “investigate, inspect and evaluate the latest conditions at these facilities.” Vice President Mike Pence toured the same McAllen, Texas facility last weekend.

Schumer is the latest Democrat to inspect — and deplore — conditions in immigration centers amid the worsening immigration crisis.

Schumer decries “inhumane” conditions

Like many Democrats, Schumer has blamed the Trump administration for the worsening conditions in overcrowded, underfunded immigration facilities at the border. The facility he and Pence visited houses illegal immigrants who have, by definition, broken the law, but Schumer asserted that the illegal immigrants are not criminals and blamed the president for scapegoating them.

“What percentage of these people are criminals? Miniscule…2 percent, 3, but they’re treating them all like criminals,” Schumer said. “If you listen to the President, you’d think they were all criminals. They’re not. They’re people simply seeking some safety.”

Other Democrats who joined Schumer, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), blamed Trump for the crisis. “It’s a humanitarian crisis of Donald Trump’s making.”

Schumer blames Trump

Months ago, Schumer stood alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and attacked Trump for staging a “manufactured crisis” at the border. In the months since, a very real crisis has spiraled out of control, with more than 100,000 migrants apprehended at the border every month.

In a rare moment of co-operation, Schumer voted for a Senate border funding bill last month to replenish funds for cash-strapped immigration agents, to the chagrin of far-left Democrats who wanted more.

But otherwise, Schumer has — like the rest of his party — refused to entertain Trump’s goal of reforming asylum laws to cut down on frivolous claims and stem the tide. While Schumer said that immigrants could perhaps apply for U.S. asylum from their home countries, he rejected reform to asylum law.

“It’s a definition that applies across the board, around the world,” Schumer said. “We need to make sure America stands by its values. We have to have a policy that reflects the values of this country.”

As conservative critics noted back during the government shutdown, time has done wonders to Schumer’s position on immigration. In video from 2009, Schumer asserted that illegal immigration “is wrong, plain and simple.”

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.