Via the Free Beacon, a reminder that CNN’s business nowadays isn’t so much news or even opinion really as it is moralizing. You’ll get an occasional scoop. You’ll get your quota of hot takes from the panelists.
But moralizing is their stock in trade. Turn it on morning, noon, or night, and you’re apt to find an anchor implying or sometimes outright insisting, like Lemon, that you’re a Bad Person for holding or not holding certain opinions, usually related to Trump.
What inspired this middle finger to the border hawks in CNN’s viewership is, I believe, that awful photo that’s circulating today of an immigrant and his young daughter drowned in the river after they tried to cross from Mexico to the U.S. They wanted asylum but Trump’s policy at the moment is to take applications from only a certain number of applicants per day. This man was tired of waiting and attempted to get to the United States, where authorities would have had to let him apply by law. He and his daughter made it to the U.S. side, but when he went back to help his wife across, his daughter followed him into the water again. He tried to save her and both ended up drowning.
It’s genuinely terrible but it’s not unusual. Brandon Darby’s been covering border crossings for Breitbart for years, since the Obama administration. He’s noticed that media attention to migrant deaths is selective:
This is a sick use of a tragic situation for political gain. Do you realize how many migrants died in one Texas county alone in Obama’s years? (Brooks County) Both Parties have blame in the years-long crisis. Please stop and offer solutions. https://t.co/VS5c39aBaC
— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) June 26, 2019
I wrote this piece in mid 2016 detailing migrant deaths along our border. Trump wasn’t President then, Obama was. https://t.co/5np9lpsELo
— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) June 26, 2019
Michael Tracey noticed that Democratic outrage at the president for not wanting to admit migrant children freely into the United States as they arrive is also selective:
2014 is not ancient history. Can someone please explain why this was not portrayed at the time as a morally abominable statement? pic.twitter.com/tUvMnFmxVs
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 26, 2019
It is strange that immigration policies implemented by Obama are suddenly atrocities with historical resonance when implemented by Trump.
I’ve posted this graph before but it’s worth posting again because it captures the scale of the current crisis so succinctly:
The green line is the crisis Obama had to deal with five years ago, the red line is what Trump’s dealing with now. He’s trying to address a straightforward problem here, namely, how to process the enormous mass of people arriving at the border without simply turning them loose inside the U.S. and putting them on the honor system to show up at their asylum hearing for a verdict. He’s offered at least three solutions:
1. Have asylum applicants wait in Mexico, on the other side of the border. If their asylum application is approved, only then can they come in. No can do, though, says the left. Mexico’s dangerous too. They might not have the facilities to house immigrants while they wait. As desperation among immigrants grows, they’re more apt to attempt life-threatening crossings, like the man and his daughter who died yesterday. Plus, doesn’t U.S. law require the government to admit people who apply at ports of entry?
2. Let asylum applicants enter the U.S. but house them in detention facilities. No more catch and release; they can come in, but we need to know where they are while they await a ruling. No can do, though, says the left. Detention facilities are overcrowded and detainees often lack basic essentials, like toothbrushes. Plus, it’s inhumane to keep people, especially children, locked up indefinitely in a camp of any sort. Right, sure, the federal government could provide money to make accommodations more accommodating. But not until last night, many months after the crisis began, did House Democrats get around to that, having held out until now in the belief that they might be able to force Trump to start releasing people en masse by starving DHS of funding until the inhospitable conditions in the facilities become too much of a political problem for the White House.
3. An idea that’s reportedly been kicked around: Have asylum applicants apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home countries. If their application is granted, then they can make the trip to the U.S. No can do, though, says the left. The entire reason these people are seeking asylum is because it’s too dangerous for them to stay home. We can’t penalize them just because they didn’t want to hang around and risk further persecution while their claim is adjudicated.
At every turn, Trump has sought to prevent the scenario in which asylum applicants arrive, are freed to roam the U.S. while awaiting their adjudication, then never show up to their hearing — what you and I know as “catch and release.” According to the DOJ, 44 percent of migrants who are released into the U.S. fail to show up for their formal legal process. Look again at the graph above and you’ll see that that means hundreds of thousands of new illegal immigrants, each one of whom can’t lawfully be denied entry into the U.S. because they’re seeking admission via a legal pretext, asylum.
And what are Democrats proposing instead? As far as I can tell, with no hyperbole it’s this: Let ’em all in, let ’em all go, and if some don’t show up for their asylum hearing, tough. Catch-and-release on a mammoth, unprecedented scale.
“They want open borders!” is one of the most demagogic-sounding things Trump says about his opponents, but when you look at their actual position, you’ll see it’s not demagogic. It’s the naked truth. We’re about to sit through four hours of debates involving 20+ Democratic candidates tonight and tomorrow and it’s a very open question as of this writing whether even one of them will have the nerve to propose something that doesn’t involve wholesale admission and release of every immigrant who shows up at the U.S. border. And Don Lemon thinks you should be ashamed of yourself for worrying about that.