The Associated Press published a report Sunday evening describing chain-link partitions within a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, as “cages” — while other news organizations described them as “fences.”
The facility is a converted warehouse where families arrested for crossing the border illegally are held temporarily. Children who arrive with adults that are being prosecuted are often separated, to be sent to shelter facilities. The fences are considered necessary to separate men and women, and children from adults, for the migrants’ safety.
Here is how the Los Angeles Times (hardly a conservative outlet), which visited the same facility on the same day, described the partitions (emphasis added):
A baby boy cried as he was carried past chain-link holding areas in the Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, Texas, on Sunday morning, a sprawling former warehouse, the largest of its kind on the border.
In the center, parents were lying shoulder to shoulder on green pallets with their children. The room was spare, with bare concrete floors and guard towers, but clean.…
The 72,000-square-foot building has about 300 staff members, with a medical unit, portable bathrooms and showers. It’s separated into cells and four large holding areas, all cordoned off by cyclone fence.
And here is how the Associated Press described the same facility (emphasis added):
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait away from their parents in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.
More than 1,100 people were inside the large, dark facility that’s divided into separate wings for unaccompanied children, adults on their own, and mothers and fathers with children. The cages in each wing open out into common areas to use portable restrooms. The overhead lighting in the warehouse stay on around the clock.
The AP used the word “cage” several other times, quoting an “advocate” who is opposed to the administration’s immigration policy.
The AP’s choice of words is only the latest in what appears to be a series of politically-charged word choices by the wire service. In 2013, the AP banned the use of the phrase “illegal immigrant” and the use of the word “illegal” to describe people in the country illegally.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.