CNN Misleadingly Claims Trump Not Required to Separate Illegal Families

December 18th, 2018 8:15 PM

On Tuesday's New Day on CNN, as John Avlon hosted the show's regular "Reality Check" segment, he again demonstrated that this part of the show is more about pushing liberal spin than it is about actual fact-checking or making the audience informed as he misleadingly claimed that the Trump admnistration was not required by law to separate children from illegal immigrant parents. In fact, he was generally not straightforward about informing viewers that it was mostly "illegal" immigrants who were subject to child separation as this key fact was buried and only indirectly hinted at a couple of times toward the end of the piece.

At 7:45 a.m. Eastern, just before Avlon was on, co-hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota notably updated the case of a migrant woman and her children who were photographed running from tear gas about a month ago as a group of illegals tried to storm across the Mexican border into the U.S., with the two CNN hosts informing viewers that they had, in fact, been accepted into a port of entry to apply for asylum.

The two then oddly seemed baffled that going through the proper "process" of legally applying for asylum was actually getting results for the family. Berman commented, "It's interesting," leading Camerota to respond, "very interesting."



Berman then added, "There is a process there," as if that were news to him, leading Camerota to comment, "absolutely," even though that is what the Trump administation has been arguing all along.

The two then introduced Avlon so he could make the latest complaint from liberal journalists about the Trump administration's history of separating migrant children from parents. He began by complaining: "Kids spending Christmas in federal custody. That's the reality for about 140 of the 3,000 migrant kids separated from their families by the Trump administration."

He then added: "Now, this family separation policy -- the toddler held behind the barbed wire, sometimes even representing themselves in court -- is, not surprisingly, wildly unpopular."

Also not surprisingly, Avlon did not inform viewers that even the Obama administration kept children in cages and sometimes questionably required small children to represent themselves in court. After complaining about President Trump blaming Democrats for the legal structure that pressured the Trump administration to separate children from illegal immigrant parents, Avlon misleadingly continued: "Okay, that's just not true. No law mandates the separation of children from their parents. And the Obama administration's policy was to detain migrant families together or release them."

Avlon did not inform viewers that the Obama administration tried to detain parents and children together but was required by court ruling to release the children after a certain time, leading the administration to release many of the parents as well. The fact is that, once the Trump administration decided to keep adults detained until a decision was made about whether they could stay in the country, the only way of staying consistent with legal precedent was to keep children in a different facility from their parents.

Avlon then played a clip from March 2017 of then-DHS Secretary John Kelly on CNN's The Situation Room discussing the possibility of separating children from parents as a deterrent as Avlon suggested there was something wrong with doing so. Not shown was that Kelly was arguing in favor of deterring illegals from crossing the desert, largely for their own safety since doing so is very dangerous.



Avlon's commentary buried the fact that typically only those who crossed the border illegally were separated from their children. Apart from a clip of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions warning against crossing the border illegally, Avlon did not specify "illegal" immigration as being the key subject until the end of his commentary when he hinted that those who cross the border "illegally" are the ones at issue.