In case you missed ’em—here’s what the newsmakers said on the Sunday morning talk shows.
The Migrant Crisis: A Tale of Two Mayors
Oscar Leeser, the Mayor of El Paso, Texas, which is dealing with an inflow of upwards of 1,300 to 2,000 migrants a day, told ABC’s This Week that probably 80% are currently coming from Venezuela. He says this has led to a change from before, when “about 95%” of past migrants had a sponsor—”a family member or a friend, and prearranged transportation to get to their destination.” Leeser said it appears roughly half of the Venezuelans don’t have sponsors.
He said his government is working with Border Patrol and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to “make sure that no one’s homeless, no one’s hungry,” and that’s it’s “been really important that we don’t send anyone where they don’t want to go.”
Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York City, where some 11,000 migrants so far have been bussed from the border by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, called for cross-country coordination. “Let’s find where the sponsors are. We have large Venezuelan communities in America,” he said.
When ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Adams if he would take Abbott up on an invitation to come to the Texas border, Adams replied, “We don’t have to stand up on the border to state that the crisis he created is a real crisis.”
Senators Call for Bipartisan Immigration Reform
A pair of Senators from both sides of the aisle, who had different takes on the Governors’ transporting migrants away from the border, were in agreement that it’s long past time for Congress to sign off on comprehensive immigration reform.
On CNN’s State of the Union Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) defended Gov. Abbott and Florida’s Gov. Ron Desantis, saying, “They’re doing their best to try to send a message to rest the nation about the plight of those individuals who are coming from south of the border.”
He added that discussions of comprehensive immigration reform were ongoing in the Senate, stating that he and independent Sen. Angus King of Maine were behind the last “hard push” toward legislation addressing chain migration, the Dreamers and a path to citizenship, back in 2017.
He further blasted the current Administration for inaction in “the 606 days since Joe Biden took office.”
On NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) said the Governors on the border “have broken every basic standard of decency when it comes to dealing with children and families” for “political purposes.”
He called for the Senate to “come together in a bipartisan fashion…and once again entertain a comprehensive immigration bill.”
Graham Doubles Down on National Abortion Ban
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stood by his call for a national 15-week ban on abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and risks to the life of the mother. “I am pro-life even in an election year,” he said on Fox News Sunday.
When anchor Shannon Bream asked him to explain his “pivot” from his June 26 interview, during which he said, “Each state can decide through their elected officials when life begins and how to treat life,” Graham on Sunday insisted he’d been supporting federal legislation banning “late-term abortions” for 20 years.
Graham’s fellow Republican Senator, Mike Rounds, was asked on CNN about the national abortion ban proposal. Rounds said the decision should be left to the states—for now.
“I think a better approach probably will be to allow the states to work through this to find the appropriate language on a state-by-state basis and to find that common ground,” Rounds said. “After that, maybe Congress steps in again.”
Ukrainian Prosecutor: 34,000+ Russian War Crimes
Andriy Kostin, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, told CBS’ Face the Nation that his government is keeping a database, and has so far documented more than 34,000 possible war crimes committed by Russians since the start of the war in February.
These include the shelling and destroying of civil property, genocide, rape, and “the kidnapping and forcibly moving of our children.”
Anchor Margaret Brennan noted that no sitting leader has ever been prosecuted for genocide, and Kostin conceded it would not be easy to prosecute Russian President Vladimir Putin. But he added, “We know who is responsible for it, because the crime of aggression is the mother of all of these crimes…the highest politically and military leadership should be prosecuted and should be punished.”