The Trump administration’s efforts to dissuade more families from illegally entering the United States by systematically separating parents from their children when they do so has run afoul of NBC’s Spanish-language sister network, Telemundo.
Citing a Washington Post report on the administration’s new plan to stem the surge in illegal border crossings by family units, Telemundo portrayed President Trump as ‘the Grinch’ who in effect stole Mother’s Day from unauthorized immigrant Moms.
JOSÉ DIAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: No reason to celebrate. The plan to separate children from their parents on the border is advancing. On Mother's Day, in Mexico and Central America, they say that the detention of families will continue, and the deportations will speed up.
The Telemundo report went on to chronicle the celebration of a “Mothers in Resistance” event held by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
There, correspondent Francisco Cuevas talked to Moms who unlawfully entered the country and now anguish that “every day one has the fear of not being able to return to your home, of not being able to see your children again” and that the prospect of being detained and separated from one’s children when one enters the United States illegally “is not what one expects” and makes one want to ‘sign and return’ (in other words, voluntarily ‘self-deport’).
The five-alarm Telemundo story actually ends up providing additional validation for the Trump administration plan, which is precisely to end the previous “catch and release” policy which incentivized family units to illegally enter the United States, as entering with minor children typically allowed them to be quickly released on their own into the country, to together await a deportation hearing.
The report also fails to mention that anyone who incurs in a serious violation of the law is subject to being detained and separated from his or her family. Should breaking the nation’s immigration laws be the exception?
There is, most certainly, an easier way for unauthorized immigrant families to stay together: don't enter the United States illegally in the first place. Respect and act according to the laws of the land, as millions do, every year.
Below is the complete transcript of the above-referenced report, as aired on the May 10, 2018 edition of Noticiero Telemundo.
JOSE DIAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: The Trump government’s plans to separate children from their parents at the border is underway. It is underway despite criticism from activists and pediatric physicians about the devastating consequences the separations have on minors. A draft of the initiative obtained from the Washington Post newspaper reveals that the intention is to speed up the deportation of children. Francisco Cuevas has the details.
MARU GALVÁN, IMMIGRANT MOTHER: Thank you all, mothers, for being here….
FRANCISCO CUEVAS, CORRESPONDENT, TELEMUNDO: Today many immigrant mothers tried to forget for a few minutes, on their Day, the drama they are living firsthand.
GALVÁN: Every day one has the fear of not being able to return to your home, of not being able to see your children again.
CUEVAS: According to a draft obtained by the newspaper the Washington Post, Donald Trump’s government aims to toughen the rules and will try not only to detain families for a longer period of time and facilitate the deportation of minors, but also separate children from their parents.
SALVADOR SANABRIA, EL RESCATE ORGANIZATION: So that they sign to accept voluntary deportation as a result of psychological pressure and a prolonged separation from their children.
CUEVAS: According to the 96-page document, the plan would allow officials to separate parents from their children if keeping them together in a detention center would represent an excessive burden for the Federal Government. This would send the parents to penal custody, and the children to shelters supervised by the Department of Health and Human Services. A drama experienced by this Salvadoran immigrant.
ELVIRA, IMMIGRANT FROM EL SALVADOR: When you are there in that place you do feel like signing and returning, because it is not what one expects. No, you cannot imagine what is coming, when one comes.
FRANCISCO CUEVAS: The draft is also examining the cost of increasing the detention of families from the current 14 days to 45 days.
ALMA ROSA NIETO, IMMIGRATION LAWYER: That memorandum, what it’s trying to do is dilute what has taken so much effort in the courts to win in protections for young immigrants.
CUEVAS: For many, the situation is becoming a dead end street.
ELVIRA: Psychologically, they hurt the morale of the children, as well as one’s own.
SANABRIA: What choice do you have when your life is in danger?
CUEVAS: In Los Angeles, California, Francisco Cuevas, Telemundo News.