Rep. Jim Bridenstine: Media Exacerbated Border Crisis by Amplifying Obama Amnesty Push
On Wednesday, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) said the mainstream media, by promoting and amplifying President Barack Obama's calls for more amnesty, was also to blame for the flood of illegal immigrant children from Central America coming across the border.
In a CNN appearance on Wednesday, Bridenstine, whom many conservatives wanted to replace Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), said that "crime is not worse" in Central America today than it was when he was a Navy pilot. He mentioned that he "did counter-illicit trafficking operations as a Navy pilot" and "was there just two years ago doing counter-illicit trafficking operations."
"The only difference is we have the president of the United States and we have a number of members of Congress and, of course, folks in the media saying that we need to get them here and then turn them into citizens," he said. "That's what's creating this crisis."
The numbers show that Bridenstine is correct, as the number of illegal immigrant children unlawfully crossing the border has spiked since President Barack Obama enacted his temporary amnesty program for certain DREAMers via executive action:
According to the Christian Science Monitor, "during the decade preceding fiscal year 2012, the federal government agency tasked with caring for unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally dealt with an average of 7,000 to 8,000 cases a year." In fiscal year 2011, there were 6,560, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Yet, as the Monitor noted, the following year, when Obama enacted DACA, "the number jumped to 13,625," and at least 50,000 have entered illegally since October of last year. Officials estimate at least 150,000-160,000 more will try next year.
Though White House officials have gone on a public relations campaign to tell Central Americans that they will not receive amnesty, many illegal immigrants have said they traveled to America believing the Obama administration would never deport them if they made it across the U.S.-Mexico border.