CNN Host Boris Sanchez Tries to Downplay Border Worsening Under Biden

News & Politics

On Thursday afternoon, CNN anchor Boris Sanchez tried to spin to defend the Joe Biden administration’s handling of the border as he and Congressman Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) got into a debate while discussing what to expect from the President’s State of the Union address.

After the Florida congressman predicted that President Biden would try to blame Republicans for the chaotic border situation, and recalled that the President undid critical orders that President Donald Trump had used to get the border under control, Sanchez jumped in to downplay President Trump’s accomplishments:

CONGRESSMAN CARLOS GIMENEZ (R-FL):  His first day in office, he issued executive orders rescinding a lot of the executive orders — the Trump administration had actually had the border under control. He’s taken 64 different actions on the border, and this is what we have as a result.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: I think describing it as the border being under control under President Trump isn’t exactly precise. The issue of immigration has been a problem now for generations.

This is pure spin. The Republican congressman then jumped back in to correct the CNN’s attempt to deflect criticism of the Democrat President:

GIMENEZ: Hold on a second. No, wait a minute, hold on. Hold on a second, okay? No, no, no. The border is completely out of control right now, and so, yeah —

SANCHEZ: I’m not saying that it’s not.

GIMENEZ: We’ve always had a immigration issue? Yeah, but it’s completely out of control in a scale we have never seen in American history, and that’s what’s causing the problem in America.

In FY 2020 which covered the year from October 2019 to September 2020, there were just over 400,000 border apprehensions. By contrast, there have been a couple of million a year since Biden took office. It’s multiplied.

Sanchez followed up by complaining about Republicans highlighting examples of illegal aliens who have committed violent crimes:

I don’t — I don’t refute that the numbers show that there is a huge crisis at the border. I am curious about the framing of the issue coming from some in your party because obviously what happened to Laken Riley is a tragedy, and it should never happen to anyone. The data, though, when you scale back doesn’t show that immigrants — whether legal or not — are more likely to commit murder or are more likely to commit violent crime than American citizens. 

The CNN host added:

And the way it’s described by folks like former President Donald Trump — who’s now the Republican nominee ostensibly for President — is that Hannibal Lecter is crossing the border — that the folks that are coming into the country are out just to kill and maim and rob and destroy. Being someone that comes from an immigrant community — being someone who is an immigrant yourself from an immigrant family, does that concern you that that rhetoric damages what is supposed to be one of the key parts of the American dream — that you can come here from anywhere in a legal fashion and find success?

Congressman Gimenez responded by emphasizing that legal immigration is the proper way to enter the country and recalled recent examples of murders committed in the U.S. by illegal immigrants as he complained about President Biden overusing the ability to use parole to allow inadmissible aliens access to the country.

Sanchez again tried to undermine his Republican guest’s argument by inserting a red herring about how illegal aliens have a right to apply for asylum, provoking more pushback from the Florida congressman:

SANCHEZ: I do want to point out is is legal for asylum seekers to claim asylum once they have crossed the border, just to point that out.

GIMENEZ: Absolutely, but that — wait, hold on a second. Hold on, oh, no, no, no, no, no, I can’t let you go on that one either because then they are released into the United States on a parole basis, and that’s supposed to be done on a case by case basis. Not on a mass basis.

SANCHEZ: Congressman, I’m not sure what it is you think I said, but I didn’t try to get away with anything.

Sanchez seemed to be alluding to the argument sometimes made by journalists and other liberals on his network who have inaccurately claimed that it is somehow not illegal to cross the border without permission as long as they apply for asylum after being caught — a legal argument that was debunked years ago.

The more critical point is that about 80 percent of those who claim they want to apply for asylum are allowed to stay in the country indefinitely even though all but about 15 percent of their cases will be eventually rejected with no easy way to then make them leave the country.

Transcript follows:

CNN News Central

March 7, 2024

3:10 p.m. Eastern

CONGRESSMAN CARLOS GIMENEZ (R-FL):  He took 64 different actions to create this crisis — this mess that we have at the border, and we need to fix it, and he needs to fix it. And so I expect today when he speaks that he’s going to somehow blame that the Republicans haven’t given him the resources needed in order to fix the problem at the border, which is completely false. Look, his first day in office, he issued executive orders rescinding a lot of the executive orders — the Trump administration had actually had the border under control. He’s taken 64 different actions on the border, and this is what we have as a result.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: I think describing it as the border being under control under President Trump isn’t exactly precise. The issue of immigration has been a problem now for generations. I am curious to get your perspective, though, on the approach from some —

GIMENEZ: Well, that’s the way — hold on a second. No, wait a minute, hold on.

SANCHEZ: Sure.

GIMENEZ: Hold on a second, okay? No, no, no. The border is completely out of control right now, and so, yeah —

SANCHEZ: I’m not saying that it’s not.

GIMENEZ: We’ve always had a immigration issue? Yeah, but it’s completely out of control in a scale we have never seen in American history, and that’s what’s causing the problem in America.

SANCHEZ: I — I don’t — I don’t refute that the numbers show that there is a huge crisis at the border. I am curious about the framing of the issue coming from some in your party because obviously what happened to Laken Riley is a tragedy, and it should never happen to anyone. The data, though, when you scale back doesn’t show that immigrants — whether legal or not — are more likely to commit murder or are more likely to commit violent crime than American citizens. And the way it’s described by folks like former President Donald Trump — who’s now the Republican nominee ostensibly for President — is that Hannibal Lecter is crossing the border — that the folks that are coming into the country are out just to kill and maim and rob and destroy. Being someone that comes from an immigrant community — being someone who is an immigrant yourself from an immigrant family, does that concern you that that rhetoric damages what is supposed to be one of the key parts of the American dream — that you can come here from anywhere in a legal fashion and find success?

GIMENEZ: All right, oh, there you go. You said it. The legal — “in a legal fashion.” That you can come from anywhere in a legal fashion — not in an illegal fashion. And I’ll tell you what’s really happening. The problem that we have now is that immigration used to be, you know, pardons used to be issued on a case by case basis. It’s not being done on a case by case basis — it’s done on a mass basis. And in there — in that mass, there is a criminal element that’s entering the United States.

Look, in Miami, we had a former Venezuelan police officer that was kidnapped, arrested — and taken and murdered by gang members of something called Tren de Aragua, which is a gang that originated in a notorious prison in Venezuela. They’re being let loose — they go, they cross the Darien, they get into the United States. And that’s just one example of what’s happening here in the United States. We’re not saying that every immigrant coming in the United States is a criminal. I know that — I’ve spoken to them. Most of the majority are coming here for the American dream. They need to be doing it in a legal fashion, but, in that mass of millions of people, there are — is a criminal element, and, yes, that is putting American lives at risk. And Laken Riley is just an example of that, and that poor, you know, former police officer from Venezuela in Miami is another example of that. And they wouldn’t have been killed — they wouldn’t be, you know, dead if the government had done its job and issued parole on a case by case basis.

SANCHEZ: I do want to point out is is legal for asylum seekers to claim asylum once they have crossed the border, just to point that out.

GIMENEZ: Absolutely, but that — wait, hold on a second. Hold on, oh, no, no, no, no, no, I can’t let you go on that one either because then they are released into the United States on a parole basis, and that’s supposed to be done on a case by case basis. Not on a mass basis.

SANCHEZ: Congressman, I’m not sure what it is you think I said, but I didn’t try to get away with anything. I do want to ask you about your guest at the State of the Union tonight. …

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