As the dominant media have been fixated for the past week on the Trump administration stepping up prosecutions against non-citizens who cross illegally into the U.S., resulting in parents being separated from children during detention as required by law, CNN and MSNBC both repeatedly conflated asylum seekers who legally got through the proper procedure with those who cross the border illegally first before pursuing asylum after being apprehended.
When DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen earlier this week called out the misreporting and insisted that legal asylum seekers are normally not detained or separated from their children, except in unusual circumstances, the liberal networks scoffed at her admonishment and then pivoted to complaining that the legal process of applying for asylum at ports of entry takes too long.
On Thursday evening, CNN anchor Chris Cuomp repeatedly complained that asylum seekers were being treated unfairly. The next day, far-left CNN commentator Van Jones appeared on both New Day and claimed that asylum seekers were being "treated like garbage," including those who pursuing asylum legally. He repeated similar claims on CNN Tonight.
On Friday's Cuomo Prime Time, CNN political analyst Catherine Rampell similarly claimed that "a lot of people who are being prosecuted did not actually commit a crime," as she cited asylum seekers who presented themselves legally at a port of entry. Not clarified was that she and Jones were referring to a limited number of cases in which asylum seekers have been separated from their children because of unusual circumstances, such as parents who have committed crimes or are unable to prove the children in their custody are actually theirs.
After Nielsen began responding to the media misinformation about asylum seekers earlier this week, Early Start host Christine Romans on Monday scoffed at the DHS secretary's statement as making claims "falsely," and on Tuesday, CNN host Kate Bolduan had a guest who complained that it was "not feasible" for asylum seekers to go through ports of entry because of long waiting times.
Liberal CNN political commentator Maria Cardona continued to make the claim that legal asylum seekers were being subjected to having their children taken away.
Over on MSNBC, after Chris Hayes and Chuck Todd last week both suggested that legal asylum seekers were also having their children taken, Stephanie Ruhle earlier this week repeatedly seemed to claim that asylum seekers who were crossing the border without permission were not actually breaking the law simply because they were asylum seekers, and asserted that asylum seekers have their children taken away as they await the process of seeing a judge.
After the pushback from Secretary Nielsen, MSNBC, too, began pivoting to complaining that the ports of entry have wait times that were too long, with some suggestions that the Trump administration is deliberately slowing down the asylum process and driving immigrants to go through the desert where they may die making the journey across the border illegally.