NYT Editorial Board: 'Trump Is Right' About Border Crisis, Congress Should Approve Funds

May 6, 2019

The New York Times editorial board urged Congress to give the Donald Trump administration requested emergency funds, writing that the president was right about a crisis on the border.

"Congress, Give Trump His Border Money," read the headline on the Sunday editorial, which argued that Democrats should approve the $4.5 billion in funds that were requested in a letter from Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought.

"We are continuing to experience a humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border of the United States," Vought wrote. "Apprehensions are expected to surpass one million by the end of the year, more than doubling those compared to last year. The number of large-scale groups of family units and unaccompanied alien children (UAC), primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, seeking to enter the country and claim asylum has increased dramatically."

"President Trump is right: There is a crisis at the southern border. Just not the one he rants about," the editors wrote. They argue that while Trump is wrong to demand a wall and to present the border as a natural security issue, there is a very real humanitarian crisis at the border due to the surge in asylum claims and wall funding is not included in the request.

"As resources are strained and the system buckles, the misery grows," they write. "Something needs to be done. Soon. Unfortunately, political gamesmanship once again threatens to hold up desperately needed resources."

The editorial board urged Democrats to approve the funding, but cautioned that Trump needed to grant some concessions as well. "If the White House is serious about needing the money, it should be prepared to agree to a few conditions — and convey the need for flexibility to Senate Republicans..." they wrote. "Both sides need to dial back the fighting words, resist the temptation to finger-point and find a creative way through this minefield."

The admission about a crisis on the border comes after former Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said during an April Fox News appearance that the influx of migrants represented "a crisis by any measure." By contrast, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro has called the notion of a border crisis "B.S."