As immigration shapes up to be one of the defining issues of the 2024 election cycle, there are more and more stories of violent crimes committed by foreign nationals who illegally entered the United States.
One such case involved an illegal immigrant from Honduras who was released from prison in Virginia last year after sexually assaulting a minor. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked for the Biden Administration’s response earlier this week and gave what can only be described as a non-answer.
On Tuesday’s show, Megyn was joined by National Review’s Rich Lowry and Charles C.W. Cooke to discuss why illegal immigration has become a crisis that Americans across the country understand first hand.
During a White House press briefing on Monday, Jean-Pierre was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy about an alarming report out of Fairfax County, Virginia, involving an illegal migrant who sexually abused a minor.
Doocy’s colleague Bill Melugin had shared the story on X over the weekend. According to a press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an unidentified man from Honduras entered the U.S. illegally some time before January 2020.
In late July, he was arrested by the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office and charged with sexually assaulting a minor and production of child sexual abuse material. He was later released from Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without notice after the county chose to ignore ICE’s detainer request.
Deportation officers ultimately apprehended the 21-year-old Honduran national on January 4 at his residence in Springfield, Virginia, and he assaulted a law enforcement officer during the arrest.
While the Fairfax County website states that “the Board of Supervisors has not designated [it] as a sanctuary county,” a 2018 press release stated it would no longer “honor any requests to detain individuals subject to an administrative detention request unless there is a corresponding lawfully issued criminal detainer.”
Doocy invoked the case while asking Jean-Pierre a question about the types of individuals illegally crossing the southern border. She chose to blame Republicans in Congress.
DOOCY: Following up on immigration– authorities in Fairfax County, Virginia, ignored an ICE detainer. They released an illegal immigrant from Honduras, who was charged with sexually assaulting a Virginia minor and production of sexual abuse material. Doesn’t that go to show that, as record numbers of people appear at the border, you guys have no idea what kind of people are coming into this country?
JEAN-PIERRE: Let me just say, first of all, this is why the president is having negotiations with the Senate — senators, Republicans and Democrats — right? — for the past couple of weeks, to deal with what’s going on at the border security — right? — as it — as it relates to border security. This is why the president, on day one, put forward a comprehensive immigration plan that, about more than three years now, Congress didn’t do anything about.
But he’s appreciative that we’re having this conversation in the Senate. We’ve — we’ve deployed additional troops and federal agents to the border, who have, by the way, returned more than 482,000 individuals since May. That’s the — that’s what we’ve been able to do. We’ve led the largest expansion of lawful pathways, and — that we haven’t seen in some time.
The president continues to have diplomatic conversation with Mexico, who have actually taken — taken actions to deal with the situation. There’s more work to do. There’s more work to do. We understand that. We have said that. You’ve heard that from the president on Friday. We understand that there’s more work to do. We need more resources.
We need more funding, which is why we’re having these negotiations on the Hill. But Republicans in the Senate is working with us. Republicans in the House are trying to get in the way. So it’s up to them. Are they going to help? Are they going to actually deal with an issue or continue to move forward in a political stunt?
The query came on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court siding, at least for now, with the Biden administration on a border security case involving the state of Texas. In a 5 to 4 vote, the court granted federal Border Patrol agents the right to cut through or remove razor wire that was installed by Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to prevent illegal entries.
‘They Are Playing with Fire’
While President Biden recently admitted that the southern border is not secure, the messaging from the White House has continued to focus on the lack of bipartisan support for immigration reform. “They are going to do more of this ‘it’s all the Republicans’ fault,'” Megyn said. “You’re talking about the rape of a child. No one wants to hear ‘there’s more work to do.’”
As Lowry explained, this has long been the strategy of Democrats who went from purely pinning the blame on former President Donald Trump to now pinning the blame on the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. “This whole idea that Trump messed it up or it’s been a problem for 20 years – no, Trump figured out a way to fix it and they ripped it up,” he said. “The Biden administration doesn’t need permission from Congress or anything from Congress. They could drastically alleviate this problem on their own and they don’t want to do it.”
Ultimately, Megyn said the Democrats are “playing with fire” and may soon get burned. “This is not going to work,” she concluded. “The reality is too in your face no matter where you are for people to buy this lie that this was a Trump problem… This is becoming an issue people understand on a gut level.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Lowry and Cooke by tuning in to episode 708 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.