Camerota Badgers Santorum: Does It 'Make You Sleep Better' to Blame Illegal Parents?

On Wednesday's New Day show, CNN host Alisyn Camerota not surprisingly showed a double standard in pressing conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum from the left on the issue of separating families who cross the border illegally, while going softer on Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal in a later segment.

Camerota not only misinformed Santorum and CNN viewers by claiming that legal asylum seekers are separated from their children, but she also tried to shame the conservative former Senator for blaming the parents for the plight of their children by demanding: "Rick, does that make you able to sleep better at night, to blame the parents?"



In the first hour of the three-hour show, the group of CNN regulars had hyped recent testimony in the Senate from a Trump administration official who had warned that separating children from families would have negative consequences, and, in the second hour, Santorum was brought aboard to respond. At one point, Camerota displayed the latest example of CNN misleadingly conflating legal asylum seekers who follow the proper process at ports of entry with those who illegally sneak across the desert first as she posed: "You know that there's an asylum process -- that some of these parents were coming here to apply for asylum?"

After the former Pennsylvania Senator argued that legitimate asylum seekers are treated differently, the CNN host misinformed him, causing Santorum to back off:

CAMEROTA: No, some of these people were asylum seekers. Nope. Some of them were asylum seekers, and what happened was there was zero tolerance -- zero tolerance at the border. So people even who were coming to seek asylum were separated from their children.

SANTORUM: And that was wrong. I don't think anybody disagrees with the fact that if you came and were legitimately seeking asylum, and you show up at the border, and come and present yourself to a border crossing to a border (sic) and say, 'We're seeking asylum,' that's a different situation from people who use a coyote.

In fact, asylum seekers who travel to ports of entry are typically not separated from their children while they wait for their asylum claims to be processed, except under a limited number of exceptional cases.

After Santorum persisted in stating that the parents of illegal immigrants are to blame for their children being separated from them while the parents are being prosecuted for illegal entry, Camerota mocked him: "Rick, does that make you able to sleep better at night, to blame the parents?"

A bit later, while discussing the issue of trying to return children to parents who have already been deported, Santorum argued that the children should be returned to them in their home countries "unless there is some legitimate reason for asylum."

Camerota then seemed to tacitly argue that just about anyone who made the trip thousands of miles from Central America to the U.S. must have a legitimate asylum claim because of the effort they undertook as she followed up: "Right, I mean, there had to be some reason that they made the trip for 1,500 miles walking. This wasn't for a vacation that they were bringing their kids."

Not mentioned is that, even under the Obama administration, an overwhelming majority of asylum claims from Central American countries were denied. In the period from 2012 to 2017, between 75 and 80 percent of asylum claims from these countries were denied, while 88 percent of Mexican nationals were denied asylum.

And, in the first year of the Trump administration, denials only increased a few percentage points, but the denial rate had been increasing for several years anyway even during the Obama administration.

Additionally, no one brought up the possibility that immigrants from Central America could try to make asylum claims in Mexico instead of traveling thousands of miles through the country to get to the U.S.

 


In the third hour, as she spoke with Senator Blumenthal, Camerota at one point brought up Santorum's argument that "their parents did something illegal," but she also presented a straw man argument which suggested that conservatives are claiming that all parents are involved in illegal drug trafficking. Camerota: "Can you help clarify whether or not you think this is a misconception? Are these all drug mules? Are these all people who ran across the border illegally? Or are some of these folks asylum seekers?"

Last week, appearing as a guest on FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out that, out of the first group of children that they process to see if they could be returned to their parents, 20 percent were found to either be with an adult who was not a parent, or an adult who had a criminal record, so closely examining illegals who drag their children across the desert rather than simply go through a port of entry makes sense since some of them may be concealing other nefarious activity.


 

NB Daily Crime Latin America Mexico Immigration CNN New Day Video Richard Blumenthal Alisyn Camerota Rick Santorum Kirstjen Nielsen


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