"Washington Post" columnist Eugene Robinson and this week's "Meet The Press" roundtable discuss the illegal immigration crisis.
"We're a country of 330 million people," Robinson said. "You know, the richest, most powerful country on earth. Yes, we can deal with 50,000 people on the border. It's not that big a deal for us to handle that if we choose to handle that and handle it properly."
"It's a lot of people who are coming in. But we are able to handle it. It's not hordes and hordes invading in the way that the president describes the caravan. In fact, there is a process. And people get to apply for asylum. We can look at the asylum laws if you want to look at that. But we have laws. And we ought to follow them," he said.
CHUCK TODD: Would you accept any of the deal parameters that Kellyanne Conway laid out today?
EUGENE ROBINSON: Look, you could have that conversation. And you could make a deal. But not with Donald Trump. You couldn't with a president who says, "Let's get rid of judges," you know? As David said, it is performative. It is showing what a tough guy he is. It is not finding solutions to problems. We're a country of 330 million people. The, you know, richest, most powerful country on earth. Yes, we can deal with 50,000, you know, people on the border. It's not that big a deal for us to handle that if we choose to handle that and handle it properly. We have laws that provide for asylum. Let's follow the law. You know, let's build the facilities and put the people in place and let's get it done.
DANIELLE PLETKA: I'm not sure I agree with you about the fact that we can handle this. I do think this is a genuine crisis. And that's all the more reason why we need to adapt our laws, why we need to update, why we need to move ahead with some of the changes that Kellyanne Conway laid out very normally, I thought. But I want to talk about the president for a second because I think we reached a turning point in the last week in which, you know, feral marketing, reality TV guy Donald Trump actually widened the chasm between himself and proper governance in which where --
DAVID BROOKS: Who knew that was possible?
DANIELLE PLETKA: I really was surprised. But, you know, when we see this, we see an administration struggling, running to keep up with him to execute the increasingly random things that he's saying. That is also a crisis, in my opinion, because if this gets worse, we are looking at another year and a half of mismanagement, of lack of governance, and of genuine democratic crisis.
CHUCK TODD: Well, here's the other part of it. Why take away the money from the Central American countries? And, of course, I was trying to get it, like, we have no consistency in our foreign policy. What we're doing in Venezuela, now, there are some political ramifications for Venezuela. It's called Florida's electoral votes.
KASIE HUNT: Indeed. I mean, Chuck, the root of the question, I think, is, is this about policy or is it about politics? I mean, do they really want to solve this crisis because, I mean, I do think, you know, our system has, for many years, functioned that way. We have solved big problems in the past. We don't have the greatest immediate track record. But that doesn't mean that we couldn't do that. But trust has broken down because the sense is, the best point is why are you to take that money away when we know that it helps stem the root of the problem, if you're the president? It just indicates to others this is a political thing for him.
DAVID BROOKS: Can we not let the Democrats off the hook here on this one?
CHUCK TODD: Right, they --
DAVID BROOKS: A lot of them are still saying there's no crisis. And then they're strangely mute on what to do. And I think the core problem is they don't know where their base is on immigration.
CHUCK TODD: That's right.
DAVID BROOKS: Are we an open borders party? Where are we? And they don't want to get on the wrong side of the Twitter mobs. And so it's just lay low, lay low, lay low or just be abstract.
CHUCK TODD: Eugene?
EUGENE ROBINSON: I don't think it is an open borders position to question the use of the word "crisis." Maybe you can use that word, you cannot use that word. It's a lot of people who are coming in. But we are able to handle it. It's not hordes and hordes invading in the way that the president describes the caravan. In fact, there is a process. And people get to apply for asylum. We can look at the asylum laws if you want to look at that. But we have laws. And we ought to follow them.