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Hot Topics lived up to its name Wednesday morning when Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin joined forces to shut down Stephanie Grisham's stance on immigration. After Grisham decried "open border policies" and people coming into the United States "illegally," the co-hosts accused her of "spewing talking points" and discriminating against Black and brown refugees. As Behar so eloquently put it, "Why does this sound like Fox News?"
Immigration reform typically prompts an intense reaction from The View's co-hosts, so it was no surprise that things got heated during a discussion about the debate over ending a Trump-era border policy. "I come from a border state, so I can speak about it pretty well," said Grisham, Trump's former press secretary and a longtime Arizona resident. "I've seen what open border policies can do to the country, and to the people who are trying to get into this country."
When Hostin asked what she means by the term "open border," it sparked a lengthy back-and-forth. "I mean by letting people just come in, and not enforcing — and sending them back," said Grisham. "People are welcome here with open arms, as long as they come here legally. But when people are able to just cross the borders willy-nilly, there's also a criminal element. And I've seen the human trafficking that is done. There's people called Coyotes, they bring women and children across the desert and do unspeakable things to them. So to go from 7,000 people to 18,000 people daily crossing into our border illegally — I don't know how we would pay for it. I don't know where we would put them. And it puts a lot of those people in danger."
Of course, Hostin didn't agree. "There are laws in place, everyone," she said, before noting various statutes designed to protect refugees and asylum-seekers. "So when you say, 'They're coming in illegally,' I take umbrage to that. Especially because 14,000 Haitians were expelled under the Biden administration. Especially because 76,000 Afghans were welcomed to this country, which they should have been. And because this administration is willing to take over 100,000 Ukrainians, which they should. So it seems to me the law is okay for some people, but not okay for people who look like me! I don't like that!"
"I don't agree with that, and I think that is low-hanging fruit!" replied Grisham.
"It is not low-hanging fruit," fired back Hostin. "It is just the truth."
PRES. BIDEN ENDING TRUMP-ERA BORDER POLICY: The CDC announced it is officially ending Title 42, the controversial policy restricting migrants from coming into the country under the rationale of a public health risk due to COVID — #TheView panel reacts. https://t.co/PmnXqIGc64 pic.twitter.com/f77cCWhQTQ— The View (@TheView) April 6, 2022
Behar then chimed in to ask "why it's okay for 100,000 Ukrainians to come in, and not these other people who are also running from oppression," but Grisham once again insisted refugees need to "legally" come to the U.S.
"That is legal, Stephanie!" interrupted Hostin. "Can I finish?!" replied the ex-Trump staffer. "There are bad people who are also coming into this country. China, knowing our borders are opening, will now have fentanyl coming across like crazy."
"Why does this sound like Fox News?" said Behar, a point to which Hostin agreed. "Are you spewing talking points here? Where are your numbers? I don't see stats."
Grisham didn't have any numbers to back up her point, but in a true Meghan McCain-esque moment, she reminded the co-hosts that she "lived in Arizona" and "saw these things" for herself. "How many could you see? You're one person!" said Behar, earning a round of applause from the audience.
Luckily for Grisham, Sara Haines stepped in to back up her argument, making her Hostin's new target. "I love the spirit of it. I say, 'Bring them all in!' But right now, our boat is not at its strongest," said Haines. "It's the same thing as if you have a lifeboat and you say, 'I want to save everyone,' and everyone gets on, and the lifeboat flips, you save no one."
"So we should just not follow the asylum law?" said Hostin, at which point Haines accused her of playing a "zero-sum" game. "We have to figure out a way to follow to law. They've had two years to figure it out, they haven't figured it out," replied the former prosecutor. "But the answer is not 'These people are coming across illegally. Some are welcome and some are not.' That is not the promise of this country!'"
After some cat-wrangling, Whoopi managed to throw the show to commercial, and after the break, the ladies apologized for being "crabby" and sleep-deprived. "I wanted to do that just to let y'all know that there are days," explained Whoopi, "And before anybody writes about what's going on at the table, I thought it was more important for us to say, 'We're cranky today.'"
Sorry, Whoopi: we're still going to write about it.
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.