CNN's Smerconish Highlights Illegal Immigrant Caravan Other CNNers Ignore


Over the weekend, as the national news networks mostly ignored the latest news on the massive illegal border crossings from Mexico, CNN’s Smerconish show stood out in joining right-leaning outlets like Fox News to inform viewers of the latest developments.

Not only did news break on Friday that an all-time record number of illegal immigrants were apprehended crossing the border in fiscal year 2021, but a large new caravan of migrants from countries all over the world trekked through Mexico trying to reach the U.S. thanks to the Biden administrations lax treatment of border security.

On Saturday morning, CNN host Michael Smerconish introduced the segment:

 

 

An estimated tens of thousands of migrants are assembling in the southern Mexico area in the mother of all caravans that may head north as soon as this weekend. And this follows the news that U.S. Border Patrol arrests have soared to the highest ever totals recorded. During the 2021 fiscal year, U.S. authorities detained more than 1.6 million migrants along the Mexico border according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. Although illegal crossings began rising last year, they have skyrocketed since President Biden took office.

His guest was Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who has frequently been seen on Fox News Channel over the last several years, but not so much on CNN. Smerconish began by asking: “What if anything do you know of the caravan to which I just referred?”

Judd informed viewers that would-be illegal immigrants from countries all over the world are trying to use this latest caravan to get into the U.S.

The CNN host followed up: “What accounts for that? You’re telling me there’s almost like a magnet approach now of people from all around the globe viewing this as their shot to get into the United States? And they’re assembling in Mexico or Central America?”

Judd recalled that the Joe Biden administration ended the programs that the Donald Trump administration had imposed to deter illegal immigrants from entering the U.S., leading Smerconish to follow up: “Are there significant tangible differences between the approach under President Trump and President Biden? Or is it a matter of perception on those people who are coming into this country or seeking to that it’s going to be an easier attempt to make?”

His guest elaborated: 

No, there’s an absolute tangible difference between this administration and the last administration. … This administration abolished every single immigration policy that President Trump put in place, such as the remain in Mexico program. Once that was abolished that was an invitation for everybody to start crossing our borders illegally. That was the main issue that we’re dealing with. You must hold people in custody pending their asylum or deportation proceedings. If you do not do that, they will continue to come.

Fox & Friends has also thoroughly covered the story over the last few days, but, by contrast, their competition on CNN and other networks have ignored the story.

CNN’s New Day show notably has a history of giving misleading coverage to the illegal immigration issue and trying to downplay such caravans. In 2018, co-host John Berman repeatedly showed a chart demonstrating that illegal crossings were lower than when there was a relative high in 2000, and did so without the context that those crossing in 2000 were mostly Mexican nationals who were easier for the U.S. to deport while many in recent years have been families from Central America.

 

 

CNN’s Smerconish was sponsored in part by Best Western. And Fox & Friends was sponsored by Safelite. Their contact information is linked. Let them know you appreciate them supporting the coverage of such important issues.

Transcript follows:

Smerconish

October 23, 2021

MICHAEL SMERCONISH: An estimated tens of thousands of migrants are assembling in the southern Mexico area in the mother of all caravans that may head north as soon as this weekend. And this follows the news that U.S. Border Patrol arrests have soared to the highest ever totals recorded. During the 2021 fiscal year, U.S. authorities detained more than 1.6 million migrants along the Mexico border according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. Although illegal crossings began rising last year, they have skyrocketed since President Biden took office.

(…) 

What if anything do you know of the caravan to which I just referred?

BRANDON JUDD, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: What we know is that we have large numbers that are coming up. These people are not just from one specific country. When you look at the numbers that we’re dealing with right now, and look at it from a historical standpoint, we’re dealing with people from countries that we just haven’t seen before in the past — Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Senegal, Bangladesh, you know, we’re dealing with people — we’re dealing with countries from around the entire world…

SMERCONISH: What accounts for that? You’re telling me there’s almost like a magnet approach now of people from all around the globe viewing this as their shot to get into the United States? And they’re assembling in Mexico or Central America?

JUDD: Well, the main magnet that we constantly deal with is what we dub as the catch-and-release program. When people cross the border illegally, we do not properly enforce the law — that we release them into the United States pending a future court appearance. That is the magnet that draws so many people across our border illegally. And that’s what we’re dealing with today. And so if — when you look at when we hit 45-year lows, just over two years back, it was simply because we were holding every single person who crossed the border illegally or we were having them wait in Mexico pending their asylum or deportation proceeding. The moment you cut that magnet off, people stop coming. But if there is a reward for violating our laws, then the message is sent around the world that, if you cross our borders illegally, you will be released into the United States, and that’s what’s happening today.

(…)

SMERCONISH: Are there significant tangible differences between the approach under President Trump and President Biden? Or is it a matter of perception on those people who are coming into this country or seeking to that it’s going to be an easier attempt to make?

JUDD: No, there’s an absolute tangible difference between this administration and the last administration.

SMERCONISH: What is it? What is it?

JUDD: This administration abolished every single immigration policy that President Trump put in place, such as the remain in Mexico program. Once that was abolished that was an invitation for everybody to start crossing our borders illegally. That was the main issue that we’re dealing with. You must hold people in custody pending their asylum or deportation proceedings. If you do not do that, they will continue to come.

(…)

SMERCONISH: I thought the most interesting think he had to say is, these are not just those people coming from those countries Vice President Kamala Harris was charged with addressing the root cause, right? Instead, it’s become a global magnet. People are viewing this as their chance to get into the USA without playing by the rules.



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