CNN host Jim Acosta was caught in a testy exchange about President Joe Biden’s handling of the “open border crisis” with Republican Congressman Ralph Norman during an appearance on the flailing network on Sunday.
The Biden administration has found itself in the crosshairs of conservatives lately, especially after the mayor of Eagle Pass, a border town just across the Rio Grande, declared a state of emergency after 5,000 migrants descended on the area.
Rep. Norman called on the president to “get the wall built,” claiming that former President Donald Trump would have secured the border before he was impeached in the 2020 election.
The congressman went a step further and claimed that CNN is ignoring the issues surrounding the border crisis.
Acosta sought to hold Norman accountable, asking how the Republican Party could address the border issue if they follow through with threats to shut down the government.
Republican Congressman Ralph Norman grilled CNN host Jim Acosta regarding the network’s live broadcast of the border crisis
The dramatic increase in the number of migrants crossing the US border from Mexico has pushed the city of El Paso, Texas, to ‘a breaking point’
Officials have long said that the influx of migrants crossing the border illegally is directly linked to the multibillion-dollar human trafficking schemes of Mexico’s notoriously violent drug cartels.
Shocking photos show the violence Border Patrol agents are subjected to at the border following an alleged encounter between a federal agent and a migrant that left both bloodied.
The anchor continued by asking Norman what the evidence was for his claims that the Biden administration is deliberately keeping the border open.
‘What do you mean? Do what intentionally? Where is your proof of this? Where is your proof of this? It sounds like you’re throwing around rhetoric without any factual basis,” Acosta asked.
“Have you been to the border?” Norman responded. “Of course,” Acosta replied.
‘Have you seen what’s going on? The rapes. It’s open. I mean, no one can deny that. It’s a crisis,” the congressman asked.
“I’ll ask the questions, sir. And the border is not open. That is something that is proclaimed as a topic of conversation. That is not true. There are fences. There are walls. There are Border Patrol agents working on the border,” a concerned Acosta said.
Norman also pushed back against Acosta’s suggestion that Trump never built a border wall.
“Jim, look, those are your talking points. He did indeed build a wall. He couldn’t finish it because Joe Biden stopped him when he unfortunately took office. And steel is lying on the ground paying subcontractors. It’s a national security problem. CNN should report what’s going on,” Norman said.
‘We stand there at the border constantly reporting on what is happening. We do it every day,” Acosta pleaded.
Video shared from central Mexico shows more than 5,000 asylum seekers illegally boarding a freight train to gain entry to the US
‘We have a crisis. I don’t care what the federal government says,” Sergeant Rene Cordova (above) told DailyMail.com as he looked out over a murky stretch of the Rio Grande River outside Eagle Pass.
The border crisis continues to cause serious political headaches for the Biden administration heading into the election season.
Last weekend, El Paso’s Democratic Mayor Oscar Leeser said at a news conference that his city was at a “breaking point” with more than 2,000 people a day seeking asylum.
The arrival of mostly Venezuelan asylum seekers is part of a larger flow of immigrants who traveled dangerous routes on buses and freight trains to Mexican border towns near San Diego, California, and the Texas cities of El Paso and Eagle Pass.
Lesser said El Paso plans to open a new shelter and chartered five buses Saturday to take migrants to New York, Chicago and Denver.
Republican governors in Texas and Florida have been criticized for sending migrants to cities considered liberal, such as New York and Sacramento.
But Leeser, a Democrat, said all the migrants on El Paso buses voluntarily went to the cities of their choice.
Leeser said the Bidens had been a good partner. But he said the overall U.S. immigration system was broken.
Many migrants from Venezuela, he said, lacked transportation to their desired destinations, while El Paso’s current shelter houses only 400 people and should also be available to help the homeless.
Six weeks ago, about 350 to 400 people a day were coming to El Paso, but in recent days there have been 2,000 or more.
Over the past 10 days, the city has worked with the U.S. Border Patrol to provide shelter for 6,500 people, Leeser said.
About two-thirds of the people currently entering El Paso are single men, he said. About 32% are families and only 2% are unaccompanied children.
“I think it’s really important to note that we have a broken immigration system,” he said. “It’s the same thing over and over again.”