MacCallum pushes back on ex-Obama official defending Biden border policies: Messaging 'like a pretzel twist'

Tafuri, who is a former State Department official, told host Martha MacCallum that there is no inconsistency in the messaging from people like Harris, who came under fire once again from critics over her job performance as the Biden-appointed “border czar.”

Harris recently laughed off questions about her performance in a recent interview. When challenged about not having visited the southern border while the crisis is unfolding, Harris remarked that she hasn’t visited Europe either. 

As MacCallum noted, Harris tweeted during the 2020 campaign that ‘everyone is welcome here, say it loud, say it clear’ – in reference to inviting foreign nationals to enter the United States.

Tafuri argued that that message is more nuanced than it appears and that it has not changed in the face of the vice president saying in remarks during her Guatemala City, Guatemala visit, “do not come.”

“When she tweeted that during the campaign, she welcomes people to come to the U.S. legally. Of course, our country has really benefitted from legal immigration in the past. We’re a country of immigrants,” he said.

“What she made clear during her visit to Guatemala was ‘do not come’ meaning ‘do not come from Guatemala, from Honduras, El Salvador, the northern triangle countries illegally’. Do not make that long trip. Do not put yourself at risk. Do not put your kids at risk.”

MacCallum pushed back, noting neither Harris nor Biden has made such a distinction explicit.

“It’s like a pretzel twist keeping up with the different messages here,” she said. 

“They never make that distinction. They never talk in the terms you just mentioned,” the host added, noting that Biden himself instead explicitly invited a “surge to the border.”

In response, Tafuri defended the president, telling MacCallum that Biden wants political asylees to surge to the U.S., because the nation has always welcomed people under threat for their beliefs – pointing to the mid-20th Century westward exodus by Germans, Austrians and French fleeing Nazi oppression and occupation.

Tafuri said Biden is “beefing up resources” at the border to accept such people while echoing claims by the administration that people who don’t meet that standard will be sent back.

MacCallum reiterated that Tafuri’s comments are indeed “logical” but that they don’t match what Biden nor Harris are saying or doing.

“They’re saying the border is closed. Mayorkas says do not come. The border is closed. We see every day people pour across the border. In many cases they get to stay,” she said. 

“They’re told you can send your kids over but they have to come solo. So then we have kids getting dropped over the fence and being left with their teddy bears by the coyotes.”

“How is this a system that you say President Biden wanted and talked about?”

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