"FOX News Sunday" guest host Bill Hemmer asks Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the assistant House Speaker, about his statement that there is no "crisis" on the Southern border in light of comments this week from former Obama administration DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to the contrary.
"I would say there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, but one that was created by President Donald Trump with his policies," the New Mexico Democrat said.
HEMMER: I’m going to start with the border as I did with Mick Mulvaney a moment ago.
Six weeks ago, you said this wasn't a crisis. Do you still believe that?
LUJAN: Look, this is not the national security crisis that the president continues to describe. There is a humanitarian crisis, but it's created by President Donald Trump.
When you go back to the threats even during the midterms, the president was suggesting that there was an immediate national security crisis and he sent troops to the border just to try to distract the American people with the gains that we were going to see in the midterms. Then we went into a shutdown and the president took the same deal after 35 days of a shutdown that he couldn't take on day one to prevent that government shutdown.
And here we go again with the president doubling down with threats to shutdown the Mexican border, which would have devastated the U.S. economy, devastated the U.S. auto manufacturers, concerns in many other areas including 27,000 workers in Mexico as the Mueller report was coming out.
So, again, I think the president continues to use immigration as a distraction as opposed to trying to work together in a bipartisan basis, whether it's immigration reform --
LUJAN: -- or other important measures that we could be talking about.
HEMMER: You're describing this as a political charade but let’s look at the numbers. In the past month alone, more than 100,000 illegals have been stopped at the border.
How was that not a crisis?
LUJAN: There are a number of people who have been turning themselves in to border patrol agents as the law allows in the United States for asylum-seekers. And so, when the Department of Homeland Security is reporting these numbers, I don't believe that they are accurately describing the numbers with a number of people that are turning themselves in the versus those that are being apprehended.
HEMMER: OK. Well, here's the homeland security secretary for President Obama. This is what Jeh Johnson said this past week.
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: By anyone's definition, by any measure, right now, we have a crisis at our southern border. According to the commissioner of CBP, there were 4,000 apprehensions in one day alone this past week.
HEMMER: There it is again and the word again. Is he wrong?
LUJAN: Well, again, I would say there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, but one that was created by President Donald Trump with his policies. Whether it's his metering initiatives or other policies that have been put in place by Secretary Nielsen.