WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Sunday joined NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd to discuss the prospect for bipartisan immigration reform in the wake of Title 42’s expiration, House Republicans’ Default on America Act, and the gun violence prevention movement’s progress over the last year.
On the Biden administration’s actions to prepare for the expiration of Title 42, Murphy said: “The President has not been sitting on his hands like Republicans would allege. The President has been actively engaged in trying to manage this crisis. He has negotiated important agreements with Mexico, so that Mexico takes more of these migrants. He has surged thousands of troops and asylum officials and border patrol to the border to handle this emergency. And he's put in place a really tough new rule that some frankly say goes beyond his authority to say to migrants, ‘if you don't apply for asylum before you get to the United States, we're going to turn you right back around.’”
Murphy highlighted many Republicans’ calculation that chaos at the border is good politics: “Republicans have had multiple opportunities to come to the table and pass immigration reform that would fix the problem at the border. And my belief is that while you have a small group of Republicans who legitimately want to engage, the majority of that party delights at chaos at the border. You saw some of my colleagues on [Thursday], as soon as votes were done, rush down to the border to take smiling photographs with the Border Patrol, essentially celebrating the fact that there was chaos because they believe that there's political gain to be had. So I think Americans know that it's Republicans, not Democrats that have been sitting on the outside when it comes to fixing our broken immigration system.”
On the prospect of bipartisan immigration reform, Murphy said: “I wouldn't be surprised if you see some discussions begin in the Senate, in the wake of the House action last week to try to find some common ground on immigration reform… right now you’ve got to do the pieces that are most urgent. And to me, that’s border security, that’s asylum reform, and then that’s doing something about the Dreamers who are here and need some help.”
On Kevin McCarthy’s recklessness in the debt default negotiations, Murphy said: “What worries me is that Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, even Mitch McConnell have said that if we can't get an agreement in the next few weeks, default is off the table. The only leader who says we are going to light the American economy on fire if we can't get an agreement in the next 10 to 14 days is Kevin McCarthy. And that is deeply worrying to me because there's an opportunity to talk about their really unpopular agenda of cuts, but the time to do that is when we're negotiating the budget.”
On the anniversary of the Buffalo shooting, Murphy highlighted the gun safety movement’s progress in the last year: “We broke a 30 year logjam last year by passing the first major gun safety initiative. You're seeing Republican states like Tennessee looking at red flag laws, Texas considering raising the age to buy assault weapons. I think our movement is in a position to win. Does it worry me what some of these district courts are doing? Absolutely. But right now, I think our focus has got to be growing the movement and continuing to capitalize on the progress of last year.”
On President Biden’s leadership on gun violence prevention, Murphy said: “So when we broke that 30 year logjam, 30 years of inaction on guns, there was a month in which we were negotiating that piece of legislation. Joe Biden was intimately involved in that process. I talked to Joe Biden probably every three or four days, he made a bold decision to go to the country and speak directly to them when many of his advisers told him not to. That bill would not have passed with Joe Biden's personal involvement. So I have seen how effective this President is. And this narrative that Republicans are spinning is just their best argument against him because they can't argue on the merits. They can't argue on the policies that he's passed because he has had one of the most successful policy agendas of any president in their first two years.”