Pritzker: Immigration Doesn’t ‘Really’ Impact People, Trump Caused Venezuelan Migrant Surge by Wrecking Venezuela

During CBS’s Iowa caucus coverage on Monday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) stated that the surge in Venezuelan migrants is the fault of 2024 Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump because he “created the chaos that’s happened in Venezuela that’s caused so many people to leave that country and seek asylum in the United States.” And that while immigration will be “an important issue to people,” “what people really care about is their own well-being, their family’s well-being,” and economic issues are “things that really matter to people in their personal lives.”

Pritzker said, “Well, I think it’ll be an important issue to people, and people need to recognize that Democrats have been at the table looking for comprehensive immigration reform and border security for years now, literally decades. And Republicans are the ones unwilling to come to the table to negotiate and get something done. Once again, they’re backing away from the table, it appears, in Washington, D.C. So, I’m — unfortunately, I am not confident that we will see any kind of reform. And, once again, it’s the Republicans unwilling to work with the president.”

CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett then asked, “Right. But Governor, you know that polling data reflects this, that there are Americans, even Independents, who say they can discern a difference in Biden and Trump policies when it comes to immigration, how many people come in, how many asylum claims come into the United States, either with times to report later and they just feel that the difference is so pronounced and something that they are no longer comfortable with. That is something that’s within the president’s ability to change. Is it not?”

Pritzker responded, “Well, we don’t have a head-to-head race yet. But in a head-to-head race, I think it would easily be pointed out that it was Donald Trump that created the chaos that’s happened in Venezuela that’s caused so many people to leave that country and seek asylum in the United States. That’s on Donald Trump.”

Pritzker continued, “Now, the question is, once they arrive here, what policy can you put in place to keep people from getting asylum? And the president has sought help from the Congress — the Republicans in Congress. They’re unwilling to work with him. So, in the end, when we get to it, when there’s a head-to-head race here, I think this will be pointed out to people, and they’ll understand it’s been Donald Trump and the Republicans that have kept us from having true immigration reform.”

Garrett then asked, “Do I hear you correctly, Governor, saying that, on immigration, President Biden can fight it to a draw or actually win on the immigration issue?”

Pritzker answered, “I think that it’s one that Democrats can win on. Although, I understand, as you look at the polls today, that fighting to a draw would be a pretty good place to end up. And the reality is, what people really care about is their own well-being, their family’s well-being, how they’re doing economically, and things are getting better every single day in this country. People are earning more than they’ve ever earned before. We have higher wages, and those wages are above inflation. Inflation’s going down. Gas prices are going down. We have, frankly, the best, most energy-independent nation that we’ve had, ever. And it’s Joe Biden that’s bringing manufacturing back to the United States. So, those are all things that really matter to people in their personal lives. And, again, as we see the economy continuing to improve and people feel it, that’s going to inure to President Biden’s benefit.”

Pritzker added, “Well, things have been getting significantly better, starting from the summer on.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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