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Bernie Sanders: Border surge ‘serious problem,’ not ‘crisis’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that the arrival of record numbers of illegal immigrants on the southern border was a “serious problem,” but not a crisis.

“It is a serious problem, but it is not the kind of crisis that requires demonization of desperate people who in some cases have walked a thousand miles with their children,” Mr. Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

More than 144,000 migrants arrived at the U.S. southwest border seeking to enter the country in May, the highest monthly total in 13 years, marking the third month in a row that apprehensions have exceeded 100,000, according to the Customs and Border Patrol.

Acting CBP commissioner John Sanders described the situation last week as a “full-blown emergency,” while President Trump has repeatedly called it a “border crisis,” but Mr. Sanders disagreed, saying the president has been “demonizing undocumented people in this country.”

“It is an issue we have to deal with,” he said. “But the issue of climate change, the issue of tens of millions of Americans not having any health insurance, the fact that half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck—those are more serious crises.”

Mr. Sanders, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, tweeted Wednesday that, “Trump’s Mexico tariffs aren’t about trade, it’s about a fake border ‘crisis’ to scapegoat migrants.”

“So it is an issue. But you don’t demonize desperate people, we deal with it in a rational and humane way,” Mr. Sanders said.

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