Donald Trump's Immigration Policies Have Not Failed—'They're Working Exactly The Way They're Supposed To,' Democrats Say

President Donald Trump's hardline immigration policies have received widespread condemnation from around the world—but they are working "exactly the way they're supposed to," Democrats said on Thursday.

In a post shared by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Texas Representative Diego Bernal sought to sum up his main takeaway after paying a visit to Border Patrol stations in El Paso.

Noting that other politicians, including Ocasio-Cortez, had already made such visits and "showed us a lot," about the conditions and treatment that migrant children, women and men detained in U.S. facilities face, Bernal said it was "hard to write or explain everything I'm feeling a day later."

"So, I'll just add this," Bernal said in a video posted with the tweet. "People are saying that Trump's policies have failed, a phrase people that use a lot. And I disagree.

"I think they're working exactly the way that they're supposed to. I think that everything that we're seeing and that's happened is on purpose, that it's deliberate, that it is the product of decisions that have been made, outcomes that have been anticipated, situations that were predicted and this is exactly what they want," he said.

"It's hard to put into words the way you feel when you see people being held in an area getting ready to be taken to Mexico to await their asylum hearing… to look into the eyes of kids with no idea of what's going on, but this is exactly what they wanted to happen," Bernal said.

"This is exactly what President Trump wanted to happen. That is the staging area for the rest of these conversations and for the fight that continues. This is not a logistical problem. It is a moral problem. And don't be confused—we can change this. A decision can be made now to change the nature of this environment and it just hasn't happened yet. So, someone else is going to have to do it."

Ocasio-Cortez appeared to agree, sharing Bernal's tweet and quoting parts of the video where her Texas peer said he disagrees with people who say Trump's policies have failed—that they are working "exactly the way they're supposed to."

The argument is one that experts and immigration advocacy groups have repeatedly made—that the Trump administration is creating an immigration crisis at the border.

In a recent opinion piece for Politico Magazine, three former immigration officials wrote of how they believed the "crisis on the border" was "Trump's fault."

In their piece, Alan Bersin, who previously served as the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and assistant secretary and chief diplomatic officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Nate Bruggeman who held senior policy positions within the Department of Homeland Security and CBP from 2009 to 2012, and Ben Rohrbaugh, who was the director for enforcement and border security at the National Security Council from 2014 to 2016 and who also served in senior positions at the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, branded Trump the "worst president for border security in the last 30 years."

"Despite the administration's attempts to shift blame for the chaos, make no mistake: It is Donald Trump himself who is responsible," they wrote. "Through misguided policies, political stunts and a failure of leadership, the president has created the conditions that allowed the asylum problem at the border to explode into a crisis."

The solution, they said, "lies in reforming the U.S. asylum system and immigration courts and helping Central America address its challenges—not in a 'big beautiful' wall or shutting down the border."

A former senior DHS official told Newsweek just as much, asserting that Trump's border wall and policies would see millions of U.S. dollars "burned" and "flushed down the toilet" for the "vanity project of an egomaniac."

The former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the best way for the Trump administration to address the situation at the border would be to address the "push factors" driving asylum seekers from their home countries to the U.S. border. "The way you address refugee crises is by ending the push factors wherever those refugees are coming from," they explained.

By push factors, the former DHS official was referring to the driving forces "pushing" asylum seekers to flee their home countries. In Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which are collectively known as the Northern Triangle, poverty and violence are among the factors driving asylum seekers to the U.S.-Mexico border. Gang warfare is on the rise in the Northern Triangle, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Current homicide rates are also among the highest ever recorded in Central America, according to the UNHCR, with several cities, including San Salvador, El Salvador; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, being listed among the 10 most dangerous in the world.

In Guatemala specifically, many asylum seekers are also being pushed to leave their home country due to food insecurity caused largely by drought.

Instead of addressing push factors, however, the Trump administration has withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Northern Triangle countries because the president believed the three nations were not doing enough to stem the flow of migrants arriving at the U.S. border.

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A boy and father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico Border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. John Moore/Getty