Media bias exposed in its coverage of those seeking asylum in the U.S.
Jennifer G. Hickey
In the eyes of the media elites, the issue of immigration is a story best told in black and white terms. An inability to see beyond their own biases remains a dark cloud over the reporting of issues of real consequence.One recent example was a Politico article which claimed the Trump administration really “wants to shut door on abused women,” rather than tighten the asylum laws.After a detailed recitation of an abused migrant’s tale, reporter Julia Preston, who formerly covered immigration for the Times, asserted the administration “determined to stop the stream of people to the border from Central America, is moving to curtail or close the legal avenues to protection for abused women” like the one she described.Rather than simply reporting facts, Preston sought to make the case that the real aim of having the Justice Department review the law was not to close loopholes, but to close the door on abused women.But Preston’s rhetoric was tame compared with the hyperbole of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who claimed he understood the complexities of immigration policy, yet proceeded to compare the Trump administration’s vetting of asylum seekers to the Roosevelt administration’s handling of refugees during World War II.“A lifetime ago, Anne Frank’s family applied for visas to the United States to escape Hitler, but we rejected the Franks and other desperate Jewish refugees. We thought: This is Europe’s problem, not ours, and we don’t want to be overrun by “those people.” (Italics in original)“Today President Trump is again slamming the door on desperate refugees. Indeed, the Trump administration is going a step further by wrenching children from the arms of asylum-seekers, apparently as a way of inflicting gratuitous cruelty to discourage new arrivals,” argued Kristof.Today, the paper’s editorial board followed Kristof’s lead by claiming that President Trump’s tweets had “transformed about 1,200 people on the northward trek into a dangerous horde bent on flooding the United States and confirming the need for that big wall that is his obsession.”The president “sees not a group of fearful people fleeing from terror to freedom, but an opportunity to fan the flames of bigotry,” concluded the editorial titled, The Truth Trump Doesn’t Want You to Know About the Caravan.Preston and those at the New York Times would be advised to read that paper’s coverage of Venezuela’s demise and the crisis it is causing in neighboring Brazil and Colombia.“Hundreds turn up each day, many arriving penniless and gaunt as they pass a tattered flag that signals they have reached the border. Once they cross, many cram into public parks and plazas teeming with makeshift homeless shelters, raising concerns about drugs and crime,” reported Ernesto Londono in an April 28 dispatch from Brazil.As the numbers of Venezuelans fleeing the extreme poverty of a dissolving nation swell, he writes that officials “in the region have begun to question the wisdom of open borders.”In fact, Brazilians are moving to tighten their borders. Even one Venezuelan who fled to Brazil acknowledged the pressure it is putting on those countries opening their doors.Mercedes Acuña arrived told the Times reporter she was grateful for those who helped her, but now agrees with those who want to close the border with Venezuela.“I realize we’re all in need,” she said. “But their country is being invaded.”The bias of the news media prevents them from seeing that without real immigration reform the day is not long before our country is invaded by more than a few hundred in a caravan.
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