asylum seekers, border security, border wall, ICE, illegal aliens, Im-Politic, Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Mainstream Media, Michael Miller, MS-13, refugees, Trump, Trump Derangement Syndrome, Washington Post
Mirroring the broader, hysterical Never Trump-ism that’s overcome so much of America’s bipartisan political establishment and its grassroots supporters (along with their foreign counterparts), the Mainstream Media just keeps killing it in the Trump Derangement Syndrome Department. And hot on the heels of that Financial Times editorial I posted on yesterday that faulting a Trump nominee for lacking the leadership and intellectual “heft” of someone who should have been tried as a Vietnam War-related criminal comes a Washington Post article handling the President’s immigration policy record with equally clueless – and equally jaw-dropping – incompetence.
According to Post reporter Michael Miller (and his editors), Mr. Trump is way off-base targeting the murderous Hispanic criminal gang MS-13, and similar networks of thugs, to muster support for his restrictionist immigration policies. The reason? “[E]ven as [the President] warned again and again about the dangers posed by MS-13 members and the need for a wall to keep them out, killings connected to the gang were plummeting in many of the areas where MS-13 has been most active.”
In other words, what could be dumber? And/or more cynical?
But in the very same article, Miller told readers that “federal law enforcement officials say MS-13 violence fell last year as a result of intensified nationwide investigations.”
More specifically, the author writes, “While Trump’s attacks on the gang have been relentless, current and former immigration officials, law enforcement agencies and gang experts attributed the decline in MS-13 murders to an aggressive response by local and federal authorities.”
For good measure, accompanying the article is a photo with this caption: “Northern Virginia Gang Task Force officers partner with ICE [the federal government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency] officers to arrest an alleged MS-13 gang member in Manassas in 2017.”
Maybe Miller thinks the President has nothing to do with ICE and other federal authorities?
The author did present convincing evidence that President Trump has hardly been the first chief executive to crack down on MS-13. But he also presented evidence just as convincing that none of the success achieved by these campaigns has lasted. And if you think that the President’s insistence on more physical border barriers has been irrelevant to this crisis, consider this point made by the author: Following evidence of a reduction in gang activity, after 2014, “a surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America helped revitalize MS-13.”
And as made clear by a 2017 Post article linked in Miller’s piece, many of them made their way into the United States because inadequate border security enabled them to sneak in, or because, thanks to permissive federal policies for dealing with arrivals as a whole, “more than 150,000 such teens and children [to that point, two years ago] have been detained at the border, screened and placed in communities through the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).”
And “Follow-up [for these resettlement efforts] is limited, and many youths fail to show up for immigration proceedings, a recent congressional investigation showed. At the same time, there are gaps in local efforts to reach vulnerable children and teens before the gang does.”
These problems could be greatly reduced by (1) better physical barriers that prevent would-be border crossers from setting foot in U.S. territory in the first place, and thereby automatically becoming eligible for the entire range of due-process protections to which citizens and other residents – legal and illegal – are entitled; and (2) related Trump administration proposals that would require refugee applicants and asylum-seekers to stay outside U.S. territory while their claims are examined.
In other words, Miller and his editors clearly thought they were serving up a classic Trump “gotcha” story. But even a minimally careful reading of the piece catches them red-handed in a disgraceful – as well as inept – example of media bias.