Cross-posted at the MRC's NewsBusters blog
The past couple of weeks have brought the latest example of liberal news outfits like CNN and MSNBC suddenly taking notice of a recurring problem in immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump's administration which also happened in past administrations, including that of Barack Obama.
A number of shows pounced on the story of natural-born American citizen, Francisco Galicia, who was detained by CBP and handed over to ICE in a process that took over three weeks because of suspicions that he was an illegal immigrant, in spite of him having his birth certificate on him, as a number of news reports suggested that his detention was racially motivated, with much of the coverage omitting aspects of the story which help explain why the detention happened in the first place.
TBS comedian Samantha Bee also picked up on the story this past week, which had also seen coverage on CBS, PBS, and Fox News Channel.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes introduced the story on his All In show by declaring that Galicia was detained "for no reason," and that he "committed no infraction other than having the wrong skin color and the wrong last name and the wrong family members," and that he was held by the Trump administration "because he's Latino, because he has family members who are unauthorized."
Hayes soon added: "And there's no more chilling example of everyday tyranny than free citizens being ordered to show their papers simply because of the color of their skin and their appearance." The MSNBC host claimed that it's "getting worse" under President Trump.
As he updated the story upon Galicia's release, Hayes finally admitted that he was a citizen on the technicality that his mother was an illegal or "undocumented" immigrant who was in Dallas when she gave birth to him, but that she soon took him back to Mexico where he had lived for 15 years until returning to the U.S. just three years ago.
But what triggered Border Patrol suspicions about him was the fact that he had a travel document which incorrectly claimed that he was born in Mexico, contradicting his birth certificate. Additionally, Galacia was traveling with his slightly younger brother who was, in fact, an illegal immigrant.
Substitute-hosting Deadline: White House also on MSNBC, John Heilemann declared that "we have a new low at the U.S.-Mexican border."
And, on her AM Joy show, MSNBC host Joy Reid brought up the word "apartheid" as she wondered if "brown people" are now required to carry their papers: "Is it now that anyone who is brown or who might be perceived as Latino has to carry their birth certificate and their Social Security number, and even then that might not be enough to prove to any random CBP official that they're an American or ICE … because I have to tell you that is apartheid."
Over on CNN, a number of shows hyped the story as correspondent Nick Valencia followed the developments and interviewed Galicia, who claimed that it was racially-motivated, and alleged that he lost 26 pounds in a few weeks due to not being given adequate food.
On her Full Frontal show on TBS, Bee picked up on one of the CNN stories but did not include any of the details on why Galicia was detained as she included it in her show while railing against the Trump administration.
As acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan appeared as a guest on Fox News at Night, host Shannon Bream gave him a chance to comment on the story in a segment in which he blamed Congress for not giving ICE enough funding so that CBP could hand Galicia over to ICE more quickly.
None of the news accounts brought up the angle that many would argue that the law should be changed so that, when illegal immigrants give birth in the United States, their children should not automatically be considered citizens since their parents were not authorized to be in the country.
MSNBC's Reid even bristled over CNN's Valencia acknowledging that Galicia does not speak English and wondered if CBP might have been convinced he was a citizen if he could have spoken to them in English.
It is also significant that, as President Obama was on the way out of office in 2016, outfits like NPR documented that hundreds of American citizens had been caught up in the system over the years and spent time in custody as they were mistaken for non-citizens illegally in the country.