CBS This Morning Uses Sanctuary Cities to Push Immigration as ‘a Tough Issue’ for the GOP

On the heels of the decision by Monday’s NBC Nightly News to heavily inject politics into the murder of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle allegedly by an illegal immigrant, Friday’s CBS This Morning used the issue of sanctuary cities to somehow spin it as part of the immigration debate that’s “a tough issue for Republicans.”

National correspondent Jan Crawford explained that sanctuary cities “have long been controversial” even though “[t]he thinking originally was they were a way to support immigrants, get them help if they got involved with minor offenses” but with Steinle’s murder “and immigration a contentious issue on the campaign, many politicians now are demanding change.”

Noting that many Republican presidential candidates “are in agreement” against the sanctuary cities, Crawford credited Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democratic candidates for “appearing to soften their previous support for sanction area cities.”

Turning right back to the GOP, however, Crawford maintained that, for them, “it's a chance to reset the crucial immigration debate and move away from Donald Trump's incendiary comments about illegal immigrants.”

After she mentioned how “San Francisco is one of more than 200 sanctuary jurisdictions” and showed a clip of Republican Senator Tom Cotton (Ark.) introducing legislation to cut off “federal law enforcement funding” from sanctuary cities, Crawford closed by circling back to the issue being a hindrance to the GOP (as opposed to liberal local officials that carry out the measures):

Now, immigration is a tough issue for Republicans. They want reform but also support from Hispanic voters. To win the White House, the Republicans are going to have to get back to where George W. Bush was in 2004 when he got more than 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. In 2012 Mitt Romney got 27 percent.

In contrast to the CBS This Morning segment, Thursday’s CBS Evening News aired a report on sanctuary cities from correspondent John Blackstone that did not inject Republican politics into the issue. 

While Blackstone failed to apply a Democratic label to any of the local officials in San Francisco, he explained how the sanctuary city policy fit into the overall story of Steinle’s murder and what happened “has brought proposals both in California's legislature and in Congress for laws that would force local governments to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.”

As he did on Monday’s CBS Evening News, Blackstone highlighted how “more than 10,000 undocumented immigrants were released” over “the last 18 months...without federal authorities being notified.”

Commenting on the desire for changes in the ultra-liberal city, Blackstone admitted that the appetite for a complete reexamination of the sanctuary city policy are just not there: “There are many calls here for a review of how a repeat felon could have been released, but Scott, in this city, with a large immigrant population, most political leaders still defend the sanctuary law.”

The relevant portions of the transcript from July 10's CBS This Morning can be found below.

CBS This Morning
July 10, 2015
7:33 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Sanctuary Showdown; Debate Rages over Asylum for Illegal Immigrants]

VINITA NAIR: This morning, Congress is considering action against so-called sanctuary cities. They can serve as safe havens for immigrants, but they have come under scrutiny since this month's murder of a San Francisco woman allegedly by an undocumented immigrant. Jan Crawford is in Washington with the new debate. Jan, good morning. 

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, good morning, sanctuary cities, I mean, they have long been controversial. The thinking originally was they were a way to support immigrants, get them help if they got involved with minor offense, but with that murder last week in San Francisco and immigration a contentious issue on the campaign, many politicians now are demanding change. 

(....)

CRAWFORD: It became front-page news after the murder of Kathryn Steinle, a San Francisco woman allegedly shot and killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. He’s a convicted felon who had been deported to Mexico five times. Lopez-Sanchez was released from jail in April, but he was on the streets because San Francisco, under city policy, ignored a request from the federal immigration officials to notify them before he was set free. The crime even has Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton appearing to soften their previous support for sanction area cities. 

HILLARY CLINTON [on CNN’s The Situation Room, 07/08/15]: The city made a mistake not to deport someone that the federal government felt should be deported. 

CRAWFORD: But for Republicans, it's a chance to reset the crucial immigration debate and move away from Donald Trump's incendiary comments about illegal immigrants. San Francisco is one of more than 200 sanctuary jurisdictions, including New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. They can offer a safe harbor for undocumented immigrants who might otherwise face deportation. Many of these policies have been around for decades, but that could change. Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton introduced legislation that could block sanctuary cities from getting law enforcement funds. 

(....)

CRAWFORD: Now, immigration is a tough issue for Republicans. They want reform but also support from Hispanic voters. To win the White House, the Republicans are going to have to get back to where George W. Bush was in 2004 when he got more than 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. In 2012 Mitt Romney got 27 percent.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Crime Immigration Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CBS CBS Evening News CBS This Morning Video Government & Press Jan Crawford John Blackstone Donald Trump Tom Cotton Kate Steinle
Curtis Houck's picture


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