Last year, I wrote some posts on how some Mainstream Media journalists and other closet Open Borders backers have taken to minimizing the seriousness of crimes like drunk driving when the perpetrators are illegal immigrants facing deportation. Unfortunately, if a recent Reuters “Special Report” is any indication, a new wave of such pieces could be on the way due to the uproar over the Trump administration’s treatment of Central Americans streaming toward the U.S. border with children in hopes of entering America through grants of asylum.
The main ostensible criticism of the President’s initial “zero tolerance” approach to this latest migrants’ surge is that it indiscriminately applied the practice of “family separation” long used by American law enforcement when dealing with domestic criminal suspects apprehended with minors to foreigners whose only transgression appeared to be attempting to cross the border under false pretenses. But supporters of more lenient immigration policies have also been accusing the administration of treating the illegal immigrants already residing in the United States in unduly harsh ways by seeking to deport unauthorized aliens who have broken no other laws – or at least no other serious laws.
It’s that supposed qualification that’s the problem; as I showed, in one instance, the Washington Post‘s coverage of recent deportation data demonstrated that its reporters and editors don’t consider drunk driving a serious crime. In May, the D.C. metro area was treated to another (non-media) example of such illegal immigrant coddling: An area non-profit that provides legal aid for detained immigrants facing deportation proceedings actually rejected taxpayer funding for such activities offered by a local county government because it would have been prevented from using these resources where the accusations entailed fraud, distribution of heroin, second- and third-degree burglary and obstruction of justice….” Apparently these didn’t make this organization’s “serious crimes” list, either – or that, originally, of Maryland’s Montgomery County.
On June 20, Reuters reporters Mica Rosenberg and Reade Levinson – and their editors – clearly attempted to show in a lengthy piece just how common such alleged abuses of illegals has become. In their words, although the President has claimed that “his strengthened immigration-law enforcement” efforts have targeted violent criminal aliens,
“as his administration has expanded its dragnet under a series of executive orders, ICE has locked up thousands of people…with little or no criminal history, with deep roots in their communities, who present little flight risk.
“In earlier years, ICE [the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency] would have released many of these people on bond soon after their arrest, allowing them to live with their families while awaiting legal proceedings that can take years. Now, ICE is denying bond for many of those people and pushing to keep them in detention for the duration of their cases….”
And as is often the case in journalism, Reuters sought to personalize its story by describing the actual experience of one illegal immigrant whose life in the United States has been disrupted by the new policies.
According to the authors, El Salvador native Morena Vasquez had entered the United States illegally as a teenager, and had lived in Georgia for 23 years before a traffic stop “turned into a nightmarish entanglement in the toughened-up immigration policies of U.S. President Donald Trump – an experience that tore apart the life she had spent more than two decades building for herself and her family.”
Near the beginning of their article, Rosenberg and Levinson described Vasquez in terms that were plainly intended to generate sympathy. She had held “two jobs – teaching Spanish at a preschool, as well as the office-cleaning gig.” She has six children – ages four to 17. “[A]ll of them [are] U.S. citizens, [and] had to relocate in the middle of the school year to live near their ailing grandfather in another town, far from the detention center.”
Yet over the next year, “Vasquez languished in the crowded detention center. She repeatedly asked an immigration judge for bond so she could await her day in court back with her family. And repeatedly, bond was denied as ICE argued that she was a flight risk. Even after a judge ruled that she had the right to stay legally and permanently in the United States, she was kept locked up for five more months as ICE fought the decision.”
It was only much deeper into the story, that the reader learns that when she was arrested last year, Vasquez’ “record showed two convictions in 2014 for driving without a license and other traffic violations. It also showed that in 2004, Vasquez was sentenced to probation for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after a child she was babysitting wandered too close to a highway.”
In addition, “Police records show that because Vasquez had failed to appear in court for one of her traffic tickets, ICE in 2015 had issued a ‘detainer’ for her arrest – a notice to local authorities of her illegal presence in the United States. Cooperating police departments automatically turn over to federal authorities any immigrants with outstanding detainers who are picked up in their jurisdictions.” Indeed, it was precisely because she skipped that court appearance, ICE and a local judge denied her bond request in the belief she was a flight risk.
Now let’s be clear: Vasquez is obviously no hardened criminal. But on top of living in the country illegally, she hasn’t been a model “citizen,” either. And if after a clearly lengthy (and surely expensive) probe aimed at showcasing the supposed injustices of the new Trump policies, Reuters decided to use her as their poster-person, readers are entitled both to ask “Is this the best you got?” — and to wonder how many other allegedly needless victims of the Trump policy shift are in fact eminently deserving of deportation?