The media’s epic fail on immigration.

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Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 6/15/18

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We have suffered a week of hysteria and emotional outbursts by people who should know better concerning illegal immigrants and their children. The hysteria has been driven in large measure by media reporting that is lazy and sloppy at best or blatantly biased and agenda-driven at worst. In the aggregate, the coverage of this story has been atrocious and I’m compelled to say that some of that atrocious coverage ran on the radio station that I own.

In case you have been on a week-long sabbatical in Antarctica, here is what you missed.

From seemingly out of nowhere there appeared stories in the media about Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials separating children from their parents when the parents were apprehended at the southern border trying to enter the United States illegally.

The overwhelming majority of the coverage either said or broadly implied that the separations arose from a new Trump administration policy. The network newscasts and the cable TV shows aired footage of children crying in anguish as their parents were being led away. (Some outlets showed images of detained children taken in 2014 under the Obama administration and led viewers to believe that they were recently taken.)

Former first ladies, the pope, a group of Methodist ministers, every single Democrat, more than a few Republicans, everyone on CNN and MSNBC, the usual suspects in Hollywood and all of the late-night talk show hosts all weighed in – often hysterically – in opposition to the “new Trump policy.”

But here’s the thing. The policy isn’t new and it’s not Trump’s. Policy regarding the handling of the children of detained illegal immigrants springs from a 1997 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Reno v. Flores.

The court ruled that the federal government must do one of two things with respect to the children of people who are arrested for attempting to cross the U.S. border illegally. First, the government must place those children with a close relative or family friend “without unnecessary delay.” Second, if the first is not possible, the government must keep children whose parents are in custody in the “least constrictive conditions” possible. The government has a time limit of 20 days to do one or the other.

In most cases, those arrested for entering illegally are quickly tried, convicted, sentenced to time served and within hours sent home. The impact on children is de minimis. The cases of those charged with felonies, however, and those who seek asylum, take much longer. And it is the 2,000 or so of the children of these people that have driven all of the current wailing and hair-pulling.

With respect to all of this, only one thing has changed since the Obama administration. That one thing is that the Trump administration is enforcing the law, something the Obama administration did not do – particularly in the cases of those caught illegally entering the country accompanied by children.

Under the Obama administration, a child was a de facto free pass into the United States. Illegal immigrants with either the presence of mind or the good fortune to have a child in tow enjoyed the benefits of a “catch & release” policy. They were given a notice for a court date at which they were supposed to appear and answer for the crime of illegally entering the country. In the vast majority of cases, to the surprise of no thinking individual, those notices to appear were roundly ignored.

Thus, illegal entry, particularly illegal entry with children, exploded – up five-fold in four years. Mr. Trump is now trying to contain that explosion, just as he promised.

The people of any nation that proposes to call itself sovereign get to decide how many immigrants that nation admits, from where it admits those immigrants and the degree to which those prospective immigrants must prove, as a condition of their admission, that they will contribute to the nation’s well-being.

For years We the People have been denied that prerogative by virtue of the fact that our government chose, without our consent, to ignore our immigration laws. All of what you have seen this past week derives from the fact that this administration has reversed that policy.

But that’s not how the story is being covered. Not even close.

For years we have been ill-served by our government. This past week, we have been particularly ill-served by our media.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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9 Responses

  1. Richard Anderson says:

    Excellent essay Mr. Gleiser. No one could have expressed and exposed the MSM leftist bias any better concerning the true story on illegal immigration, and the flagrant falsehoods being hurled daily against President Trump.
    _____________________________________________________

    The way to solve the issue of illegal immigration is to vote for the most conservative Republican congressional candidates all across America in every race in every State. In any event, voting Republican versus “any” democrat is CRITICAL and it is IMPERATIVE. As well, we must have THE WALL.

    President Trump, is working very hard in good faith for “We The American People” but he is receiving NOTHING but OBSTRUCTIONISM from democrats. That’s a fact. The democrats must be voted out of office for the sake of saving our Constitutional Republic, if we are to remain the Godly sovereign prosperous country our Founders established, the nation all American citizens cherish and want for our children and grand children.

  2. Trace Havard says:

    STRONGLY agree!! It’s gone way past media bias and hypocrisy to intentional and organized distortion and mendacity.
    I haven’t seen so much mindless, knee jerk, group think and virtue signaling since the Confederate flag controversy.
    The over the top rhetoric on cable news and the late night talk shows; “Nazis” ; “concentration camps”, child abuse, “racism”, how long before all this hate filled vitriol encourages an individual to shoot up another Republican Congressional soft ball team or an LEO?

    And of course the media will blame the gun and refuse to admit it’s outrageous news reporting might have been a source of the violence.

  3. Carol Meyers says:

    Paul, thank you for this fact-filled essay which I suggest be broadcast three times daily if not every hour on-the-hour (until the leftists/media move on to their next manufactured crisis or “obstructional situation”. Realizing that emotional outbursts “trump” truths almost every time, our only recourse seems to be “fact/truth bombardment” – thank God for the voices of reason which KTBB carries (Kris Plante, Rush, Sean Hannity and your You Tell Me Texas programming!).

  4. Linda E. Montrose says:

    Some people may say that my heart is made of stone because I can not manufactor any sympathy for these people. They are not deaf and they know in any language that laws are laws which they are breaking coming over here illegally. Dragging children on a trek like this is inhumane in itself. My question is: why aren’t these people who drag their children through this charged with reckless child endangerment? All this media hoopla and caterwauling about children screaming and crying being separated from their parents can be heard at ANY daycare ANYWHERE in the US when parents drop their kiddies off for daycare for the first time. This is not anything new, it is not anything unheard of…it happens all the time. More than likely all these media parents have experienced that very thing dropping their kids off for daycare at some point. This is overkill by the media. Those kids are getting better care than they probably have ever gotten in their whole lives!
    What really scorches my tailfeathers is these people jumping in and making care packages for those poor little children…excuse me, what about the poor little children right here in YOUR COMMUNITY who sure could use those food items and toys or whatever you are packing up to take to these INVADERS??? I’m truly sorry that I can not find sympathy for their plight, but you see, these people are BREAKING THE LAW. The children are an extension of the parents which the illegals are USING to gain sympathy. No, it isn’t anyone who values the law using these children. It is those who want to circumvent our laws who are using these children and the democrats who are trying to push their agenda against a lawfully elected PRESIDENT whom they see as not fitting the agenda they have for this country. It is sad that people can use children as they are in this case, but as the parents, the children are here ILLEGALLY. They came with the parents and should be reunited with the parents and then sent back where they came from!

  5. Buddy Saunders says:

    One of your best columns yet–delivering the true facts clearly and concisely. Those on the other side of the immigration fence have as their goal open borders and nothing less. Should they get their way, it will hasten the by now all but inevitable national bankruptcy and the social chaos that will follow.

    Maybe this trend can be stopped, but as Richard Anderson pointed out, to get that done we need to vote for conservatives, true conservatives, those that not only talk the talk but also walk the walk.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      So let me get this straight. Running on and then delivering on the promise to enforce your country’s existing and long-extant immigration laws is fascism? Really? I guess that’s good to know. I’ll add it to the list that includes xenophobia, jingoism and racism. (Did I leave anything out?)

      • Even if you disagree with this Irishman’s observation that Trump is (OBVIOUSLY) testing-and-tailoring his red-meat rhetoric, we can at least agree that we’re blessed to have these foreigners offering to fix America. That yappy chap with the thick UK Commonwealth accent who chuckles-his-way-through guest-hosting The Rush Limbaugh Show is most generous.

      • Holland Cooke says:

        Marketing 101: Test, test, test.
        Then do more of what works.

        Listen carefully, and you’ll not only hear this Great American parrot Trump’s durable applause lines.

        She actually ATTRIBUTES them to “the president:”
        https://youtu.be/a93_RonAmeY

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