MSNBC Downplays Border Crisis, Claims Immigration Will Boost Economy

On Wednesday, Stephanie Ruhle, host of MSNBC’s the 11th Hour, encouraged illegal immigration because it will “better our economy.” Ruhle, who has previously proclaimed “we are in an economic recovery,” attempted to glorify it once again.

Ruhle started the segment by playing a clip of Republican politicians decrying the border being “open,” Ruhle downplayed the crisis at the border “Lies. We do not have open borders.”

She also cited data from the Congressional Budget Office, which observed that “increased immigration to the U.S. is expected to drive economic growth, boost federal revenues, and shrink deficits over the next decade.” She noted this is something that “Republicans traditionally would like.”

Ruhle asked Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, if the Biden campaign should “be using this report to turn the conversation to immigration is good, but can we fix it?”

Soto answered by claiming there have been “hundreds” of other reports that have the exact same conclusion. She also asserted that if it was not for immigration the economy would not be “cooling down” like it is. 

She further mentioned that the United States fertility rate has been declining despite a “slight bump during the pandemic.” Soto exclaimed that “we’re not replacing ourselves” and declared that “every family needs to have two children to replace themselves.”

There, Sotos calmly stated that we should have a better attitude towards those who are entering the country illegally. “It’s not one about, oh no – they’re at the border. It’s like, oh my God thank you, please we need to incorporate you to bring new life and blood into our economy” she emphasized.

Ruhle turned to Tim Miller, former communications director to Jeb Bush (R-FL), and asked him if Democrats should take this opportunity to change the narrative on illegal immigration and instead support it. Miller replied, “The Democrats need to divide the Republicans about this and need to gain ground.”

Miller contrasted Republicans who only say “immigration bad — you know — migrants are violent — you know– the border is open” to Joe Biden, who he portrayed as a calm and rational president:

“The Joe Biden message of saying, yes we need reasonable restrictions at the border, yes we also need to be decent to the dreamers who came to this country at age 3. We’re not going to put them in camps or deport them like Donald Trump wants to do. And yes, also legal immigration and – you know even loosening some of the rules at the border, helps our economy.”

Miller concluded by complaining about how he used to be Republican and asked where the Republicans are at who believe that illegal immigrants “help our country grow” and are “good for our economy.”

Ruhle, who claimed last month that inflation is high but the economy is great, nodded and smiled as she agreed with her guests.

Click “Expand” to view the transcript:

MSNBC The 11th Hour

6/19/2024

11:21:55 – 11:26:09 PM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Lies. We do not have open borders. Donald Trump, though, he is not the only Republican spreading fear about immigration at the border. Right there, his allies are wasting no time echoing the former president. But there is a new report out, they’re not talking about it and it tells a very different story about immigration and most specifically our economy.

According to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office, increased immigration to the U.S. is expected to drive economic growth, boost federal revenues and shrink deficits over the next decade. Something Republicans traditionally would like. So let’s discuss.

I wanna bring in Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas and an MSNBC Political Analyst and Tim Miller, host of the Bulwark podcast and the former communications director for Republican Jeb Bush.

Victoria, immigration has become a lightning rod issue. Americans across the political spectrum are angry about illegal immigration. Should the Biden campaign be using this report to turn the conversation to immigration is good, but we have to fix it?

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO (DEAN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS): Stephanie, this report and hundreds of other reports — just last month the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City came out with pretty much an identical report that had it not been for immigration, we would have not seen a cooling down that light cooling down we’ve seen within the economy, right? So this is critical to seeing that recovery and beyond that Stephanie, I want to take a step back and paint a demographic picture. Since 1971, the United States fertility rate has been going down and it is currently at a record low. There was a slight bump during the pandemic but we’re back to that downward spiral. We’re to the point where we’re not replacing ourselves. We are at a 1.6 replacement rate. You need, two.

So, essentially every family needs to have two children to replace themselves. We are not doing that. What does that look like in our job market? What does that look like in terms of the folks who are going to be paying into social security, to Medicare, to Medicaid? What is it going to look like in terms of people who are taking care of us when we age because we are living really long? So I think, when you bring this frame to immigration it’s a whole different story.

It’s not one about, oh no – they’re at the border. It’s like, oh my God thank you, please we need to incorporate you to bring new life and blood into our economy.

RUHLE: Tim, do you think this is an opportunity for Democrats to try and shift the narrative on the issue, and make a case for expanding legal immigration?

TIM MILLER (FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR TO JEB BUSH R-FL): Well, look, the Democrats need to divide the Republicans about this – on this and need to gain ground. I do think it’s more of a challenging issue for Democrats because they have to have more nuanced message, right? These Republican nativists can just say immigration bad — you know — migrants are violent — you know — the border is open. That’s an easy and simple message.

The Joe Biden message of saying, yes we need reasonable restrictions at the border, yes we also need to be decent to the Dreamers who came to this country at age three. We’re not going to put them in camps or deport them like Donald Trump wants to do.

And yes, also legal immigration and – you know even loosening some of the rules at the border, helps our economy. You know, I think ever since I left the Republican Party on some issues I think oh man I really could have changed my view on that. On other issues I’m like no, it’s you guys who have gone crazy.

I mean, where are the pro-growth Republicans? Where are the Chamber of Commerce Republicans? There were always nativists to the party but there were other people that were like, we need immigrants to help our country grow. They are good for our country. They are good for our demographics. But they’re also just good for the economy. As Victoria said, you know this is not the first study that demonstrated this.

 (…)

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