Now Elon Musk Is Weighing in on Migrants

Billionaire calls for 'greatly expanded legal immigration' during visit to southern border
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2023 11:17 AM CDT
Elon Musk Thinks He Can Solve Migrant Crisis
Migrants who crossed the Rio Grande and entered the US from Mexico are lined up for processing by US Customs and Border Protection, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Elon Musk has a foot in many industries. Now, he's dipping a toe in the immigration debate, offering his suggestions for how to address an influx of migrants reaching the US across the Rio Grande. The billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X traveled to the Texas border town of Eagle Pass on Thursday to get what he called an "unfiltered" view of the situation as thousands of migrants arrive daily, per the AP. He shared a 15-minute video on X, viewed 48 million times as of Friday morning, in which he offered his take on how to solve the crisis, one involving a "greatly expanded legal immigration system," per Reuters.

Wearing a black T-shirt and cowboy hat, Musk noted that as an immigrant to the US from South Africa, he is "extremely pro-immigrant." But he said the US should be giving "expedited legal approval" to "hard-working and honest" migrants, not those who are "breaking the law." "We want to do both things—smooth out legal immigration and stop a flow of people that is of such magnitude that we're leading to a collapse of social services," Musk said. The billionaire was welcomed by Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales, whose district spans some 800 miles of the border. Gonzales, who featured in Musk's video, said people along the Texas border "really feel abandoned" amid the influx.

Gonzales introduced several people, including Medina County Sheriff Randy Brown, who said illegal migrants were hijacking trains, stealing vehicles "all over the country," and trespassing on private property. "It's not that complicated to close the border," he said. "This is an open border to 8 billion people," added Musk. The billionaire also used the opportunity to promote his social platform X. "More on-the-ground reporting from regular citizens will change the world," he wrote in a post, per Forbes. "Please encourage more citizen journalism! You can do live video easily from your phone." (More Elon Musk stories.)

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