MSNBC Host Downplays Border Crisis, Claims Immigration Benefits Economy

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle recently sparked controversy by suggesting that illegal immigration could strengthen the U.S. economy. On Wednesday’s segment of the 11th Hour, Ruhle downplayed concerns about the southern border and promoted the economic benefits of increased immigration.

Opening the discussion, Ruhle dismissed Republican claims of an “open” border as “lies,” asserting that the border is not open. She cited a report from the Congressional Budget Office, which projects that increased immigration will drive economic growth, boost federal revenues, and reduce deficits over the next decade. Ruhle pointed out that such economic benefits are traditionally supported by Republicans.

Ruhle then asked Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, whether the Biden campaign should pivot the conversation to highlight the positive impacts of immigration. Soto agreed, citing numerous reports that reached similar conclusions about immigration’s economic benefits. She emphasized that the U.S. economy would not be stabilizing without the contributions of immigrants.

Soto further noted the decline in the U.S. fertility rate, which saw only a slight increase during the pandemic, arguing that the country needs immigrants to sustain population growth and economic vitality. She suggested a more welcoming attitude towards immigrants, stating, “It’s not about fearing those at the border; it’s about recognizing their potential to invigorate our economy.”

Ruhle also turned to Tim Miller, former communications director for Jeb Bush (R-FL), asking if Democrats should seize this moment to reshape the immigration narrative. Miller recommended that Democrats highlight the benefits of a balanced immigration approach and criticized the Republican stance on the issue. He portrayed President Joe Biden as a reasonable leader who supports both border restrictions and humane treatment for immigrants, including those brought to the U.S. as children.

Miller expressed disappointment with his former party, lamenting the lack of Republicans who recognize the positive economic impact of immigration. He argued that legal immigration and easing some border restrictions would benefit the economy.

Ruhle concluded the segment by reiterating her belief in the economic advantages of immigration, aligning with her guests’ viewpoints. Despite acknowledging inflation concerns last month, she maintained that the overall economic outlook remains positive.