MSNBC host Al Sharpton came under fire on Monday for his use of the word "invasion" to describe the ongoing border crisis, which has sparked controversy among immigration advocates and the left. Sharpton, who was interviewing Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy on "Morning Joe" about the Senate's newly unveiled immigration bill, expressed urgency and frustration over the influx of migrants at America's southern border.
"What is being done to get the public to really rise up in various states to say to their senators that they want to see the border issue resolved?" Sharpton asked. "I mean, you’re getting migrants beating up policemen in the streets of New York. You’re seeing an influx of migrants all over the country that, frankly, have people outraged."
Sharpton then went on to ask why certain senators were not on board with the new immigration bill, calling them out for "allowing this to continue." He suggested that the public should pressure these senators in their home states to take action.
This use of the word "invasion" sparked outrage and criticism among immigration advocates and the left, with many arguing that it dehumanizes and demonizes immigrants. In a piece for HuffPost, senior reporter Paul Blumenthal wrote, "Texas Makes Absurd Argument That Immigration Is 'Invasion,'" and went on to discuss the history and consequences of such rhetoric.
🚨 Al Sharpton on the border: “We're looking every day at the invasion of migrants.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 5, 2024
According to Blumenthal, the use of terms like "invasion" to describe the arrival of immigrants is not new and has been used in the past to fuel anti-immigration sentiment and policies. He cited a quote from law professor Matthew Lindsay, who argued that this kind of language portrays immigrants as faceless masses who are incapable of assimilating into American society.
The controversy over Sharpton's use of the word "invasion" comes as the Senate has unveiled a new immigration bill, which is being touted as a bipartisan compromise to secure the border. However, many Republicans argue that the deal is insufficient and that President Biden already has the necessary power to take action to address the border crisis.
Democratic Senator Alex Padilla has been the only senator to publicly criticize the bill, calling it a "new version of a failed Trump-era immigration policy." He argues that the bill will only cause more chaos at the border, not less.
In his interview with Sharpton, Senator Murphy defended the bill and stressed the need for public pressure to get it passed. He also mentioned the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, but Sharpton quickly brought the conversation back to the border, expressing concern over the "influx of migrants" and the need for swift action.
Sharpton's use of the word "invasion" and his call for public pressure on senators to support the immigration bill highlights the urgency and controversy surrounding the border crisis. As the debate over immigration policies and the influx of migrants continues, it remains to be seen whether the new bill will receive enough support to be passed.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is facing mounting pressure to address the situation at the border, with both Democrats and Republicans criticizing their approach. While Democrats argue that the bill is a step in the right direction, Republicans maintain that President Biden already has the necessary authority to secure the border and that the bill is not enough.
As the debate over the border crisis continues, the fate of the Senate immigration bill remains uncertain. It is clear that the use of inflammatory language, like "invasion," will continue to spark controversy and highlight the deep divide over immigration policies in the United States.