It’s no secret that the debate over border policy and immigrant detention has dominated the national conversation over the last few weeks.
You can barely check social media or flip through channels without finding anger and ranting aimed at President Donald Trump for inheriting a situation made worse by former President Barack Obama. There is so much vitriol, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.
Part of the problem is the establishment media, which seems more interested in fanning the flames of outrage than actually reporting the straight facts.
Pushing a one-sided narrative instead of reporting reality is exactly what MSNBC was caught doing Tuesday near the border in Texas, but the citizens they interviewed didn’t play along.
During an interview with a husband and wife who own a ranch north of the Rio Grande, the left-leaning network repeatedly asked leading questions that were clearly meant to invoke sympathy and add spin to their report.
Presnall and Stephanie Cage, the married ranch owners being interviewed, saw right through MSNBC’s attempt to direct the narrative, and instead told the blunt truth.
“When you see parents and children separated, why do you support the policy that, to many people, appears to be heartless?” asked MSNBC’s Kerry Sanders.
Note to reporters: This is called a leading question and they used to teach why this is wrong in Journalism 101. Your job isn’t to tell people to their faces how they’re supposed to feel about a topic. That’s the difference between journalism and propaganda.
Presnall Cage, who lives within spitting distance of the U.S.-Mexico border, didn’t take the bait.
“It’s basically the laws of our land,” he replied to the reporter. “Trump, I believe is going in the right direction. I believe it’s going to be a deterrent to keep this from happening.”
That’s an important aspect that many people ignore: If we’re upset by the migrant situation on the border, we should look for ways to deter it from happening in the future, not blindly enact policies that only encourage more of the same immigration chaos.
MSNBC’s Sanders, apparently not listening to what was actually being said, tried to skew the discussion by appealing to maternal instincts and shame women into agreeing with the liberal stance.
This didn’t work, either.
“You’re a mother, you’re a grandmother of seven,” the reporter said to Stephanie Cage, setting her up to answer in the way he wanted. “How do you react when you see that the families are being split apart?”
The woman turned MSNBC’s question back on itself, and pointed out that dragging minors along a crime-filled route to illegally break into a country was hardly positive.
“Of course it is very upsetting, but I’m as equally upset with the parents for exposing their children to the dangers of smuggling their children across the border,” Cage replied.
Indeed, lost in the fog of this issue is one pesky fact: The entire problem with child separations could have been avoided by not trying to illegally enter the U.S. in the first place.
If immigrant families wanted to stay together above all else, they could have. Mexico offered at least short-term refuge to many of the Central American migrants, and there are no less than 23 American consulates and consulate agencies throughout Mexico.
Families fleeing Central America could have applied for U.S. asylum at any of the two-dozen American consulates or the embassy in Mexico City. This wouldn’t have required them to cross the border, which triggered their detention.
In the worst-case scenario, if their asylum requests were denied, they would be in Mexico, a country that shares their language and culture and has indicated an interest in helping downtrodden Hispanic refugees.
Mexico is no paradise, but it’s nice enough for around a million American expats who live there. Why would it not be good enough for Central American refugees just trying to escape oppression?
The answer, if we’re being honest, is that it was never about simply getting out of bad situations. In most cases, the trek across the U.S. border was always about illegally gaining entry into America, with asylum requests only as a backup option if they got caught.
That is exactly what Presnall Cage, who lives along the border, told MSNBC when they again tried to pressure him into siding with liberals.
The stories of Hispanic immigrants all fleeing violence are “very much exaggerated,” Cage said. “Very few cases are caused by that, I think most of them are coming over here to try to make a better life in this country and all this country has to offer.”
That, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing — but it needs to be done honestly, and through legal paths.
Americans are not anti-immigration, they’re simply fed up with people breaking the law and pouring into a country without permission.
They’re also tired of being lied to and manipulated by the media. It’s time to ask serious questions about why the media cannot simply report facts without trying to use fake images and skew every detail.