MSNBC host Chuck Todd said asylum seekers from Central and South America are "flooding the system in ways they've never flooded it before" on the United States' southern border with Mexico.
Todd's comment came during a panel discussion on MSNBC's Meet the Press about Republican and Democratic responses to increased numbers of immigrants seeking refuge in the United States.
"What I don't get here, is the president could be putting Democrats in a bit of a box," Todd said to former Rep. Donna Edwards (D., Md.) . "This is a problem. This is a crisis that we're in the midst of because of, ‘where do we put the asylum seekers?' This is a moment where government needs to function, and instead he's trying to make it less functional."
"The president has also created the crisis," Edwards replied. "For Democrats right now, the most important thing to them is, ‘Is the president going to follow mandates of the Congress?'"
Edwards then laid out the Democratic position, which does not included money for a border wall: "For Democrats, we're going to exercise our authority."
"But he didn't completely create the crisis,"said New York Times Washington correspondent Charlie Savage. "We are totally deluged. There's no place to hold the sheer numbers."
"When you're not reviewing asylum seekers according to the law, then it does create a problem," Edwards said.
"But they are flooding the system in ways they never did before," Todd said, in agreement with Savage.
Todd concluded the conversation by criticizing President Donald Trump for publicizing the crisis at the border.
"We know he thinks the crisis, the perception of a crisis helps him politically," Todd said. "He doesn't think it hurts him."
"Sure, and I only think Democrats denying that there is one is dangerous," said Republican adviser Michael Steele.
Trump threatened to close the border earlier this week, but backed off after increased law enforcement response to the refugees seeking aid.
"Sure, it will have a negative effect on the economy," Trump told reporters earlier in the week. "It's a very big trading partner. But to me, trading is very important, the borders are very important, but security is what is most important. I mean we have to have security."