The Great Immigration Invasion Hoax
On Fox News, Tucker Carlson and others spin a distorted, xenophobic tale.
Osman and his five-year-old son recently waited at the bus station in the Texas border city of Brownsville to continue a journey that he describes as a matter of life and death.
“People think that we only came here because we wanted to,” says Osman, in a telephone interview with The Progressive. “They have not experienced what we have gone through.”
A street vendor in Honduras, the forty-three-year-old Osman, who wants to be identified only by his first name, describes how gang members were out to kill him; he has scars from a machete attack to show for it. The mere thought of being deported gives him “goosebumps.”
Meanwhile, the plight of asylum seekers has given way to a hateful and xenophobic narrative being spun on Fox News shows by Tucker Carlson and his ilk.
President Joe Biden, the story goes, opened the floodgates to immigrants to build a base of future Democratic voters. Border crossers are demonized as lawbreakers and superspreaders of COVID-19, invading your neighborhood.
For starters, Carlson recently claimed that, as soon as Biden took office, “the first big policy change they made, and the one they stuck to most assiduously, has been to open our Southern border.” He said this is being done “to undermine democracy itself. When you change who votes, you change the outcome of the election.”
Stephen Miller, chief architect of Donald Trump’s draconian anti-immigrant policies, has made the rounds on Fox, saying that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Border Patrol have shed their enforcement responsibilities to become “resettlement agencies.”
And, for good measure, Miller said this “resettlement” is “the largest of its kind, I would suggest, perhaps, in the history of the world.”
Now, a few facts. The border closures the Trump Administration imposed in March 2020 remain in effect. Biden has exempted unaccompanied children from this ban. Many families apprehended by the Border Patrol have also not been returned to the Mexico side of the border—partly because of Mexico’s refusal to accept families with young children.
And while Fox blathers about open borders, most of the more than one million Border Patrol apprehensions at the Southern border through July under Biden have resulted in migrants being immediately returned to Mexico or put on deportation flights.
About two-thirds of the 791,573 apprehensions made by the Border Patrol from February through June resulted in expulsions, according to an analysis by Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel of the American Immigration Council.
What’s more, many of those apprehended are the same people making repeated attempts—a trend much more pronounced than in the past. Reichlin-Melnick estimates that 37 percent of apprehensions during the first six months of this year were repeat crossers.
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