In a discussion on a CNN podcast, Former President Bill Clinton acknowledged that “there is a limit” to the number of migrants the U.S. can accept without causing “severe disruptions.”
The former President made his remarks to CNN podcast host Fareed Zakaria when he queried Clinton about “economic migrants” who were “gaming” the system to get asylum.
In response, Clinton explained, “There is a limit to how many migrants any society can take without severe disruption and assistance, and our system is based much more on an assumption that things would be more normal.”
Clinton compared his childhood when Mexican migrants would move back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico to work in agriculture, to the present-day when the world has the “largest number of refugees since World War II.”
He noted that when he was a child, the Mexican migrant system of moving back and forth “worked for people” before conceding that “now you’ve got the largest number of refugees since World War II because of Syria and now Ukraine and other problems.”
The former President also noted that the situation in Venezuela was only exacerbating challenges but took issue with how Texas Governor Greg Abbott was bussing migrants to Democratic-led cities.
“What’s happening in Venezuela, more than 2 million refugees pouring into first Colombia then nearby countries, has created unprecedented new challenges,” Clinton explained.
He went on to describe that the challenges “provides opportunities for stunts like Gov. Abbott’s — sending his refugees to some place that he thinks is advocating for a broad-minded policy that it doesn’t have to live with.”
Abbott has been relocating migrants to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago to alleviate the pressure Texas border towns are facing.
So far, the state has bussed more than 10,000 migrants, a fraction of the 2.1 million migrant encounters experienced this fiscal year along the Southern border.