The mainstream media and the political left are pushing back against a Breitbart News story: “Exclusive–Confirmed: 8 Syrians Caught at Texas Border in Laredo.”
The story, citing federal officials speaking on condition of anonymity, reports that “eight Syrian illegal aliens attempted to enter Texas from Mexico in the Laredo Sector” and were “apprehended at the Juarez Lincoln Bridge in Laredo, Texas, also known officially as Port of Entry 1.”
No one can dispute those facts. So they are trying to spin them.
NBC News, for example, reports:
But the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] told NBC News the Syrians were regular migrants who made no attempt to evade U.S. authorities.
The two sets of parents and four children “presented themselves at the port of entry in Laredo” and told agents from Customs and Border Protection they wanted to enter the country, officials said.
The Syrians were taken into custody, questioned, and then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they said.
The mothers and their four kids were transferred to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilly, officials said. The dads were dispatched to the South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall, Tex., where they now face the “standard immigration review process.”
Note the phrase “regular migrants.” The implication is that the Syrians are a) entering legally or b) typical of most migrants. But neither of those statements is true.
The Syrians were indeed “apprehended” and detained, and few illegal immigrants across the Mexican border are from the Middle East. NBC, and other outlets, are simply accepting the DHS spin–that the Syrians “were not sneaking in.” (If they did not present themselves as Syrian, they were “sneaking in”–though Breitbart News did not report that.)
Another point of contention is the word “caught,” which appears in the headline. Breitbart News can confirm that our sources used the word “caught” in communicating with us. The fact that the Syrian refugees were in fact apprehended–and not let go to continue freed on their journey through the U.S., as would have happened if they were “regular” immigrants–clearly indicates that the verb “caught” is acceptable. During the flood of unaccompanied illegal alien minors last year, many let themselves be caught on purpose.
Slate.com tries a more creative approach by claiming that the Breitbart News story is implying that the Syrians “might pose a security threat in general, but also specifically in this particular instance.” Slate’s Joshua Keating goes on to explain: “They were not, in other words, trying to sneak around a border crossing undetected…”.
Nothing in the Breitbart News story says that the Syrians were a security threat or going around a border crossing.
The Daily Beast‘s Matt Wilstein says it’s all “bullshit”–that the Syrians were engaged in “a likely attempt to seek asylum.”
But how does he know? Has he done any of his own actual reporting?
The story stands. And a new question emerges: how did all these journalists just happen to run the same attack on the same story?
And how did they manage to miss the story of what is happening on our borders–not just today, but for the past several years?