Christopher Murphy

12/10/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/10/2023 13:35

Murphy on Meet the Press: Putin is Delighting in Republicans' Insistence We Tie Immigration Reform to Ukraine Aid

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Sunday joined NBC's Meet the Press with Kristen Welker to discuss talks with Republicans on immigration reform, the dire situation in Ukraine, and the stakes of the 2024 election.

"First, I think it's absolutely tragic that Republicans are tying the resolution of maybe the most difficult issue in American politics, immigration, to support for Ukraine and Israel. Vladimir Putin is delighting right now in Republicans' insistence that we get a deal on immigration reform. And if we don't, then they are going to allow Vladimir Putin to march into Ukraine and perhaps into Europe. I think this is one of the most dangerous moments that I've ever faced in American politics, and I wish Republicans weren't holding Israel aid and aid to Ukraine hostage to the resolution of immigration reform," said Murphy.

Murphy continued: "That being said, we are still in the room trying to deal with Republican demands. We are not going to put Donald Trump's immigration policies into statute. We're not going to do that. That would be bad for the country. But we do need to do something to try to resolve this crisis at the border. We have too many people crossing, too many people that don't have valid asylum claims. And if Republicans are serious about trying to control that crisis, while also still allowing into the country people who are legitimately fleeing terror and torture and violence, then we can come to a resolution."

On the state of negotiations, Murphy said: "Right now, Republican demands are unreasonable. They don't actually get Democratic votes. If I were a cynic, I would say that Republicans have decided to tie support for Ukraine to immigration reform because they want Ukraine aid to fail. But, I'm not a cynic. And so we are still trying to resolve some pretty big differences that remain."

"I think the bottom line for Democrats and the bottom line for my constituents is pretty simple. We don't want to shut off the United States of America to people who are coming here to be rescued from dangerous, miserable circumstances in which their life is in jeopardy. That's the best of America is that you can come here to be rescued from terror and torture. So we are not going to support anything that shuts down the border completely to people who are legitimately coming here to have their lives rescued. But we are willing to talk about tightening some of the rules so that you don't have 10,000 people arriving a day. Our resources are not equipped to be able to handle that number of people. So let's reduce the number of people who are coming here, but let's not shut down the border completely to legitimate claims," Murphy added.

Murphy highlighted the importance of getting aid to Ukraine in this moment: "It can change the outcome of this war because at the very same time that we are making a renewed commitment to Ukraine, Russia's ability to continue to fight this war is in jeopardy. You look at the revenues from oil sales, the projections for the next year, Russia is going to have a hard time coming up with the resources necessary to keep this fight going. In the end, will there likely have to be a negotiated solution? Absolutely. But if we cut off Ukraine now, the outcome is certain. The outcome is certain. Ukraine loses this war, maybe not next month, but sometime next year, because Europe will not stick with us if the United States abandons Ukraine. This is a decision moment for Ukraine, for the United States, and for the world."

On the stakes of the 2024 presidential election, Murphy said: "What I am absolutely certain of is that the American public are going to see a distinct contrast between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and are not going to be interested in a Trump presidency that's going to criminalize abortion, that's going to give more handouts to billionaires and the wealthy. They're going to see President Biden who has invested in the middle class, who has helped this economy recover. That will be the contrast that will matter to the American people."