NBC Rediscovers Border, Laments ‘Republicans Are Seizing’ on Crisis

News & Politics

After having ignored the latest last week in the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, NBC’s Today decided on Monday to acknowledge the continued torrent of border crossings through the summer months. But instead of merely reporting on the crossings and how Governors Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Doug Ducey (R-AZ) have bussed illegal immigrants to New York City and Washington D.C. to help share the burden, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez framed it as an issue in which “Republicans are seizing” on the crisis.

Fill-in co-host Tom Lamas explained in the setup that there were “new developments in the ongoing border crisis with a growing number of migrants being bussed to cities far from the border” that “are now asking for federal help.”

Gutierrez began by making clear that it was Republicans who were in the wrong and not the Biden administration’s border policies:

Ahead of the midterm elections, Republicans are seizing on a record-breaking influx of migrants to the southern border, but the latest battle over immigration is now playing out here in the northeast. The buses keep coming to New York City and Washington, D.C. At first hundreds, now thousands, of migrants arriving in the northeast after being sent by the governors of Texas and Arizona.

He added that Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) “has requested the National Guard” while her counterpart in New York City Eric Adams (D) “is also asking the federal government for help” because, in Adams’s words, that’s being done “is…anti-American.”

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After noting that “Democrats call the bussing a political stunt” while “Republicans argue it’s a last resort” as scenes of chaos “unfold,” Gutierrez pointed to some troubling statistics:

Human smugglers cramming 150 people into this 18-wheeler. The Border Patrol says more than 200 dead migrants have been found in just one section of Texas since last October. Nationwide, border apprehensions actually fell four percent from June to July.  But overall, this fiscal year has seen the highest number on record.

Following a tour of a Catholic Charities facility, he wrapped by saying “more 6,000 asylum seekers have entered the shelter system this summer” in New York City.

Gutierrez joined MSNBC’s Morning Joe later that hour and lamented how “there’s a lot of uncertainty” for the illegal immigrants in the Big Apple, so they’re unsure of “what comes next for them.”

He also doubled down on his “seizing” line:

But, as you just heard Mayor Adams saying as he has been reiterating for the past couple of weeks — he says the resources here in New York are stretched. Of course, Republicans are seizing on this and they’re saying, well, resources are stretched at the U.S. southern border in Texas, Arizona, and in other states. But, you know, the charitable organizations — we spoke with Catholic Charities — says they’re trying to do the best they can with those limited resources. They could always use more.

This attempt to minimize the border crisis by making it political was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods (on NBC) and Liberty Mutual (on MSNBC). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant transcripts from August 22, click “expand.”

NBC’s Today
August 22, 2022
7:15 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Inside Texas Border Crisis]

TOM LLAMAS: Alright, now to new developments in the ongoing border crisis with a growing number of migrants being bussed to cities far from the border. Officials in New York City and Washington, D.C. are now asking for federal help with that situation. NBC national correspondent Gabe Gutierrez is here with more. Gabe, good morning.

GABE GUTIERREZ: Tom, good morning. Ahead of the midterm elections, Republicans are seizing on a record-breaking influx of migrants to the southern border, but the latest battle over immigration is now playing out here in the northeast. The buses keep coming to New York City and Washington, D.C. At first hundreds, now thousands, of migrants arriving in the northeast after being sent by the governors of Texas and Arizona.

CENTRAL AMERICAN RESOURCE CENTER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ABEL NUEZ: The need has outstripped our capacity to respond to it. 

GUTIERREZ: Calling it a humanitarian crisis, D.C.’s mayor has requested the National Guard. New York City’s mayor is also asking the federal government for help. 

NEW YORK CITY MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D): I don’t think anything is more anti-American than shipping people on a bus — 45-hour trip without any of the basic needs that they have of direction or coordination. 

GUTIERREZ: Democrats call the bussing a political stunt. Republicans argue it’s a last resort as scenes like this unfold at the U.S. southern border. Large groups of migrants crossing. Human smugglers cramming 150 people into this 18-wheeler. The Border Patrol says more than 200 dead migrants have been found in just one section of Texas since last October. Nationwide, border apprehensions actually fell four percent from June to July.  But overall, this fiscal year has seen the highest number on record. 

GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT (R-TX) [on 08/18/22]: It was just Texas and Arizona that bore the brunt of all of the chaos and all the problems that come with it. Now the rest of America is understanding exactly what is going on. 

GUTIERREZ: We recently visited Catholic Charities in New York City —

GUTIERREZ [TO CATHOLIC CHARITIES OFFICIAL]: Have you ever seen numbers like this? 

CATHOLIC CHARITIES OFFICIAL Not really. Not really. 

GUTIERREZ: — which has been scrambling to help the growing number of migrants. Many from Venezuela who captured the grueling journey on their cell phones. [TO RUBEN] Do you think you’d survive? [SPEAKING SPANISH] We spoke with Ruben from Colombia who told us his four children thought they were going to die. 

“RUBEN” [voice of Gutierrez]: When we finally reached U.S. soil, he says, I thanked God for giving me the strength. 

GUTIERREZ: Here in New York, more 6,000 asylum seekers have entered the shelter system this summer. Authorities are now making plans to enroll more than 1,000 students in classes before the next school year begins next month.

LLAMAS: Alright, Gabe, we appreciate that. Thank you.

———————————

MSNBC’s Morning Joe
August 22, 2022
7:45 a.m. Eastern

MARA GAY: Gabe, can you just paint a picture for us of what happens when those buses arrive in New York City? Are — are there non-profits that are greeting them? Are locals upset or supportive? I mean, paint that picture for us, and tell us a little more about what is going to happen to these workers and families. 

GABE GUTIERREZ: Well, there’s a lot of uncertainty for them. They’ve been arriving in Washington D.C., and in New York City. But yes, they’re charitable organizations there. We spoke with Catholic Charities. Many migrants are told to go to Catholic charities, and, you know, they’re processing more than they usually do on any given day, but there are resources set aside for them. And now, City of New York is trying to get more resources, either asking the federal government — they’re also potentially trying to recruit some teachers from the Dominican Republic when the school year starts next month cause they need more bilingual teachers. But, as you just heard Mayor Adams saying as he has been reiterating for the past couple of weeks — he says the resources here in New York are stretched. Of course, Republicans are seizing on this and they’re saying, well, resources are stretched at the U.S. southern border in Texas, Arizona, and in other states. But, you know, the charitable organizations — we spoke with Catholic Charities — says they’re trying to do the best they can with those limited resources. They could always use more. As for the migrants, you know, they’re — many of them hoping to apply for asylum, wondering what comes next for them. They don’t know if they’ll stay here or if they plan to stay with family members somewhere else. They just don’t know what’s next.

WILLIE GEIST: And Governor Abbott says those buses will continue to travel to those cities in a fiscal year that will end with about two million migrant encounters at the border. That is a record. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez, thanks for bringing us the story. 

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