Al Sharpton Flips Border Crisis Onto Republicans

Steve Terrell from Santa Fe, USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – MSNBC host Al Sharpton faced criticism from some progressive circles for his choice of words when discussing the ongoing border crisis. On Monday, Sharpton referred to the situation as an “invasion” while critiquing certain Republicans for their lack of support for a new Senate immigration bill. This bill, endorsed by President Biden and members from both major parties, aims to provide a bipartisan solution to enhance border security. Despite this, numerous Republicans have voiced concerns, deeming the measures inadequate and arguing that President Biden already possesses the means to enforce border security. They specifically oppose provisions that would activate Title 42-like powers only when migrant encounters at the southern border surpass 5,000 daily. Senator Alex Padilla of California is the lone Democratic senator to publicly denounce the bill, labeling it as a rehash of unsuccessful policies from the Trump era that would exacerbate border chaos.

During an interview with Senator Chris Murphy, who played a role in drafting the bill, on “Morning Joe,” Sharpton stressed the need for public action to compel senators to back the legislation. He highlighted incidents of migrants clashing with police and the widespread frustration over the surge in migrant arrivals, questioning the lack of public pressure on senators in their home states to address the border situation effectively.

Sharpton’s use of “invasion” to describe the border crisis later sparked controversy, particularly among immigration supporters and left-leaning individuals. HuffPost’s senior reporter, Paul Blumenthal, critiqued the term’s use, noting its historical association with anti-immigration rhetoric and its resurgence within the Republican Party since Donald Trump’s rise to prominence. Blumenthal referenced the term’s deployment in American history to garner support for restrictive immigration policies, including the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. University of Baltimore School of Law professor Matthew Lindsay was cited for his views on how such language frames immigrants as an undifferentiated mass, racially unfit for assimilation into American society, and as a threat to the nation’s labor system by accepting work at exploitative wages.

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