Fox News Touts Trump Success Cutting Illegal Border Crossings

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

As the dominant liberal media have again ignored the latest news on President Donald Trump's success decreasing illegal border crossings, Fox and Friends on Friday devoted a segment to reports that border arrests in October were lower for a fifth consecutive month.

By contrast, on the same day's Morning Joe, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough not only ignored the promising numbers, but he also misleadingly recalled that illegal border crossings reached a record low under President Barack Obama, and nitpicked about whether 75 miles of recently built new wall should really be considered new.

On Fox and Friends, at 7:17 a.m. Eastern, fill in co-host Pete Hegpeth began the segment by informing viewers: "Border apprehensions dropping for a fifth straight month with just over 35,000 arrests in October. That is a 70 percent decrease from the high of 133,000 apprehensions in May."

After bringing aboard his guest, Hector Garza of the Border Patrol Council, Hegpeth noted that crossings had been very higher earlier this year, but the downward trend still points to substantial improvement: "So when you look at a big number like 70 percent -- now, that's an all-time high in May, so it's still high, but much, much lower. What do you credit that to?"

Garza gave credit to President Trump negotiating deals with Mexico and Central American countries to keep immigrants from making it to the U.S. border:

President Trump has been able to engage the countries of Mexico -- he's been able to engage the countries of El Salvador and Guatemala and Honduras. And he's been able to reach agreements, for example, like the Migrant Protection Protocols. That is one of the initiatives that has made a huge difference in ending "catch and release." We've always said that the reason people were coming to the United States was to abuse our immigration system. And that was abuse of "catch and release." But because of the Migrant Protection Protocols, thanks to President Trump,, now we've ended that "catch and release," and we've ended that magnet.

On the same morning on MSNBC, Scarborough played a clip of CPB acting director Mark Morgan recalling 75 miles of border wall that had been built in an area to replace the barrier that was already there, but characterizing it as "new." The MSNBC host began ranting about whether the wall should be called "new," and referred back to relatively low numbers of illegal crossings occurring during the Obama administration:

I mean, there's no wall, Donald! You haven't built a mile of the wall, and it makes me sad because I believe in border security. And here you are -- when Barack Obama was President of the United States -- Willie, this is what makes me sad -- do you know that when Barack Obama was President of the United States, illegal crossings from Mexico into the United States were the lowest they had been in 50 years. … Since Donald Trump has come in, they've skyrocketed, and he hasn't built a single mile of wall -- in part because people like Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn said, "Well, it does you no good."

His recollection of illegal crossings is misleading because in previous decades when there were larger numbers of crossings, they were mostly adult Mexican nationals who could more easily be deported back to Mexico whereas in recent years there has been a large number of Central Americans sending their children or coming with them who are more difficult to deport as they clog the system seeking asylum.

Scarborough soon added: "Obama's wall -- he's fixed up Obama's wall."

By contrast, back on the September 21 Fox and Friends Saturday, Fox News co-host Ed Henry clarified that the 75 miles of new improved wall was replacing substandard fencing that was barely accomplishing anything: Referring to a clip of an interview he had done with President Trump, Henry complained about the media:

After that interview, there were predictable attacks from some in the media, saying , "This is a hoax. There's not really new wall there," even though I was standing there looking at it, not just taking the President's word, but using my own also, but also talking to Border Patrol agents were there. They said there used to be just like an old rickety old fence that was broken down, and they said that Mexican residents would literally climb over that fence and then go to their spouse and say, "Here, hand the kids over."

He added:

This is what Border Patrol agents were saying, folks. This is actual facts. And they said then these Mexican residents would literally just walk into San Diego and, all of a sudden, be in America illegally. And now because of these two walls, they're not doing it. They say that they're -- the Border Patrol agents say -- not the President -- that there have been zero Mexican residents to be able to get over both walls.

Relevant transcripts follow:

From the Friday, November 15, Fox and Friends on FNC:

PETE HEGPETH: President Trump touting the success of his administration's border security initiatives while rallying supporters in Louisiana last night. Border apprehensions dropping for a fifth straight month with just over 35,000 arrests in October. That is a 70 percent decrease from the high of 133,000 apprehensions in May. Joining us now to discuss, Border Patrol agent and vice president of the Border Patrol Council, Hector Garza. … So when you look at a big number like 70 percent -- now, that's an all-time high in May, so it's still high, but much, much lower. What do you credit that to?

HECTOR GARZA, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: So it's all because of President Trump. President Trump has been able to engage the countries of Mexico -- he's been able to engage the countries of El Salvador and Guatemala and Honduras. And he's been able to reach agreements, for example, like the Migrant Protection Protocols. That is one of the initiatives that has made a huge difference in ending "catch and release." We've always said that the reason people were coming to the United States was to abuse our immigration system. And that was abuse of "catch and release." But because of the Migrant Protection Protocols, thanks to President Trump,, now we've ended that "catch and release," and we've ended that magnet.

HEGPETH: So there are actions happening at the border. There's more wall and barrier being built -- Border Patrol agents are empowered -- more facilities to deal with it -- but you're saying it's the reach down into Central America and Mexico because another detail in this is that more migrants are coming from Mexico than from Central America, which is a change as well, so it's being proactive with these countries that's been a big part of it.

From the Friday, November 15, Morning Joe on MSNBC:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I mean, there's no wall, Donald! You haven't built a mile of the wall, and it makes me sad because I believe in border security. And here you are -- when Barack Obama was President of the United States -- Willie, this is what makes me sad -- do you know that when Barack Obama was President of the United States, illegal crossings from Mexico into the United States were the lowest they had been in 50 years. … Since Donald Trump has come in, they've skyrocketed, and he hasn't built a single mile of wall -- in part because people like Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn said, "Well, it does you no good."

WILLIE GEIST: That, by the way, that's not your take or my take. Yesterday, Peter Alexander got from the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol that there has been no new wall. He said it -- 78 miles have been renovated, and he says that's new wall --

SCARBOROUGH: Obama's wall -- he's fixed up Obama's wall.

GEIST; He's fixed up, yes, Obama, the previous wall.

 

September 21,  Fox and Friends Saturday on FNC:

ED HENRY: After that interview, there were predictable attacks from some in the media, saying , "This is a hoax. There's not really new wall there," even though I was standing there looking at it, not just taking the President's word, but using my own also, but also talking to Border Patrol agents were there. They said there used to be just like an old crickety old fence that was broken down, and they said that Mexican residents would literally climb over that fence and then go to their spouse and say, "Here, hand the kids over."

This is what Border Patrol agents were saying, folks. This is actual facts. And they said then these Mexican residents would literally just walk into San Diego and, all of a sudden, be in America illegally. And now because of these two walls, they're not doing it. They say that they're -- the Border Patrol agents say -- not the President -- that there have been zero Mexican residents to be able to get over both walls.....

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