House Majority Leader Hoyer: ‘There is No Crisis at the Border’

By Dimitri Simes | February 14, 2019 | 1:10pm EST
House Majority Leader Steny
Hoyer (D-Md.) (Getty Images)

( -- During a pen and pad briefing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters “there is no crisis at the border.”

Hoyer was discussing a weekend trip to the U.S.-Mexico border that he took along with four other House Democrats. According to the Maryland congressman, following conversations with local residents and border personnel, he and the other representatives concluded “there is no crisis at the border.”

The House Majority Leader emphasized they “encountered nobody in the community that was fearful” and that among the border agents they spoke with “nobody considered there to be a crisis at the border.”

New steel barrier-fencing being erected at the border near Tijuana, Mexico, Jan. 19, 2019. (Getty Images)

Although Hoyer acknowledged that there were challenges at the border, he cited Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, whose list of crisis points threatening the United States “did not mention the Southwest border.”

The Democrat from Maryland advocated for greater investment in technology, personnel, and infrastructure as a path to stronger border security. He also called for “substantial sums to assist the triangle countries – Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.”

“Clearly, the way you really stop refugee problems is to make sure people are safe in their homes,” Hoyer contented.

Later, in response to a journalist’s question about President Donald Trump potentially declaring a national emergency to acquire greater border wall funding, Hoyer argued that the situation lacked the gravity necessary to legally justify such a move.

“There may be a challenge, there may be people coming across we don’t know about, but it’s not a horde, it’s not an attack, it’s not an invasion,” he said. “So, we think the President would be on very weak legal ground to proceed.”

Aliens try to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego, Calif. (Getty Images)

Hoyer’s assessment of border conditions starkly differs from that of the current administration. During his State of the Union address this year, President Trump described the situation on America’s southern border as an “urgent national crisis.” He warned that “the lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security, and financial wellbeing of all America.”

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