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The Border Crisis Stories the Networks Aren't Telling You About

Government officials restricting reporter access to illegal immigrants at detention centers. Border patrol agents being infected with diseases “not seen in decades.” The general in charge of the U.S. Southern Command warning that terrorists and gang members could be hiding among the new influx of immigrants. These are just some of the startling new border crisis stories the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) have refused to tell their viewers about.

From June 8 through July 15 the networks have run a total of 133 border crisis stories on their evening and morning shows (CBS 54, NBC 53, ABC 26), yet not one of them has mentioned any of the following explosive reports from recent weeks:    
                                    

Government Restricts Media Access to Detention Centers


If anyone in the George W. Bush administration had restricted the media’s access to Hurricane Katrina victims, you can bet network reporters would have screamed censorship. However, when Health and Human Services officials told the media they could visit an immigration detention facility only if they agreed to not “record anything, not to ask any questions during the tour, and not to talk to any of the staff members or children,” no one at ABC, CBS or NBC made a stink.

On July 7, the National Review’s Joel Gehrke reported: “Health and Human Services officials will allow reporters to visit a military facility housing some of the immigrant children who have arrived at the southern border in recent weeks, but only if the media promises not to record anything, not to ask any questions during the tour, and not to talk to any of the staff members or children.”

“This violates the First Amendment,” Representative Jim Bridenstine (R., Okla.), who represents the congressional district containing the housing facility at Fort Sill, said of the HHS invitation to the media. “This is not transparent. HHS is trying to muzzle the media and hide the human tragedy that has resulted directly from the administration’s failure to enforce the law.”

Gehrke added:

HHS attached seven rules “in order to protect the safety and privacy of the children” for the media who come to the tour, according to an HHS invitation released by Bridenstine’s office:

- No recording devices will be allowed
- No questions will be allowed during the tour
- No interacting with staff and children at the shelter
- We ask that your questions be provided via email or phone after the tour to Kenneth Wolfe
- HHS ACF public affairs will provide answers to your follow up questions as quickly as possible
- We will provide photos of the facility after the tour
- There will be no on-site interviews by HHS staff before or after the tour, all inquiries go to Kenneth Wolfe.

Network coverage: 0 stories     

 

Top General Warns: Terrorists and Gang Members Could Be Hiding in the New Influx of Illegal Immigrants


On July 5, Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, told Defense One.com that all along the U.S.-Mexican border there existed  “an incredibly efficient network along which anything – hundreds of tons of drugs, people, terrorists, potentially weapons of mass destruction or children – can travel, so long as they can pay the fare.”

Kelly told Defense One: “In comparison to other global threats, the near collapse of societies in the hemisphere with the associated drug and [undocumented immigrant] flow are frequently viewed to be of low importance. Many argue these threats are not existential and do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”

Defense One’s Molly O’Toole went on to report: “In spring hearings before the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, Kelly said that budgets’ cuts are ‘severely degrading’ the military’s ability to defend southern approaches to the U.S border. Last year, he said, his task force was unable to act on nearly 75 percent of illicit trafficking events. ‘I simply sit and watch it go by,’ he said. But the potential threats are even greater. Kelly warned that neglect has created vulnerabilities that can be exploited by terrorist groups, describing a ‘crime-terror convergence’ already seen in Lebanese Hezbollah’s involvement in the region.”

No one at the networks has reported about the general’s specific concerns about the terrorist and gang threat coming over the border. The only times the networks have come close to mentioning terrorist or criminal threats were in a July 2 CBS Evening News John Blackstone piece about Murrieta, CA residents’ fear of immigrants bringing “crime and disease to their community,” and this question from CBS’s Anna Werner, on the June 19 Evening News:   

ANNA WERNER: Do you worry that because of the lack of resources that somebody might slip through who might be a great risk?

RAY GARCIA, POLICE CHIEF, GEORGE WEST, TEXAS: I bet you that somebody has already.

Network coverage: 0 stories

MS-13 Gang Members Recruiting New Members at Processing Facilities


On July 11 Townhall’s Katie Pavlich reported the following:

According to Border Patrol sources, violent MS-13 gang members are using the Nogales processing center in Arizona as a recruitment hub and as a transfer point for gang members to get into the United States.

The Red Cross has set up phone banks inside the processing center so unaccompanied minors can make phone calls to family members inside the United States and back home in Central America. According to sources, those phones are also being used by MS-13 members to communicate with gang members already in the United States and operating in cities like Atlanta, New York and Chicago. Further, many teenaged males inside the facility have approached Border Patrol agents and have said gang members have tried to recruit them from shared cells. According to the FBI, MS-13 regularly targets middle and high school students for recruitment.

Network coverage: 0 stories
 

Border Patrol Agents Being Infected


On the July 14 edition of Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom, the VP of the Border Patrol Union, Chris Cabrea, also claimed that “a lot of our guys” are coming down with diseases. He added: “Coming off the long journey they have been subjected to and then diseases some agents are contracting. We had one get bacterial pneumonia a couple days ago,” Cabrea said. “A lot of our guys are coming down with scabies or lice. The border patrol is trying to play catch up and we’re having a lot of diseases coming in and some we haven’t seen in decades and we are worried they’ll spread throughout the United States especially if they are being released and have the disease.”

On July 8, Telemundo’s Carlos Botifoll interviewed National Border Patrol Council spokesman Gabe Pacheco who reported how various minors have been diagnosed with scabies, and at least one agent has been infected. Citing Border Patrol sources in Texas, Botifoll also reported on at least one tuberculosis case, and three swine flu cases, among the minors detained in that state.

So far the networks have yet to report on any of the border patrol agents who have been infected. In fact they’ve only brought up the risk of these new migrants carrying diseases in just a total of four stories. (NBC 3, CBS 1, ABC 0). On the July 2 CBS Evening News, John Blackstone barely broached the disease fears when he reported: “At a Murrieta City Council meeting last night, residents worry the immigrants will bring crime and disease to their community.”

Network coverage: 0 stories

 

For more on the MRC’s coverage of how ABC, CBS and NBC have covered the immigration issue please see these articles:

> 89 Percent of Network Stories Omit Obama's Role in Causing Border Crisis

> Networks Let Obama Escape Blame for Yet Another Crisis of His Making

> Election in The Streets: How The Broadcast Networks Promote Illegal Immigration

— Geoffrey Dickens is Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. Follow Geoffrey Dickens on Twitter.