After President Trump’s explosive, televised meeting today with Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding the border wall, MSNBC journalists took issue with Trump’s tweet about the problem of open borders increasing crime and disease, saying that was racist and xenophobic.
MSNBC Live host Ali Velshi lamented all the “pinocchios” The Washington Post had given President Trump, particularly on the border wall.“[T]hings he keeps on saying without correction!” he sighed, handing off to reporter Geoff Bennett, who went on a rant about how xenophobic Trump was for pointing out that illegal immigrants commit crime and bring diseases into the country, in a tweet. Bennett asserted the oft-repeated, but devoid of evidence, claim that illegal immigrants commit less crime than actual citizens:
One of the things we saw from this tweet storm was the president saying again that immigrants coming over the southern border bring crime and disease. One of the things we know based on facts is that first generation immigrants actually have a lower crime rate than the overall population. This notion that there might be this disease outbreak along the southern border, well that’s certainly not backed up by evidence. In fact the CDC and its Mexican counterpart actually screen for that sort of thing. So to cast immigrants, to sort of judge them based on their desirability and health status, a that is a classic xenophobic move that really has its roots in the 1900s. You look at some of the things immigration restrictionists had to say back then and it was always about desirability. Why? Because that was an argument more acceptable to make than one’s race or ethnicity. Again the president seems to be pulling from that playbook.