On Friday morning, CNN correspondent Dan Simon surprisingly admitted that U.S. law has sent the message to Central Americans that it is a good idea to bring childen with them to the country because it increases their chances of being able to stay, citing the mother of eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, who recently died of the flu in Border Patrol custody.
Between 4:08 a.m, and 9:03 a.m. Eastern, Simon appeared four times and recalled that Alonzo's mother had recently been interviewed by Reuters. In one appearance, he recounted:
We are getting a better understanding of why this father and this son made this entry into the United States. The mother spoke to Reuters, and one of the things she told them is that they were under the impression that if you travel with a child, you have a better chance of gaining entry into the country. She says she was essentially encouraged by neighbors to do this.
He then repeated a quote she gave to Reuters: "'Lots of them have gone with children and managed to cross even if they're held for a month or two.'"
The CNN reporter then conceded:
Critics say that is the problem with U.S. immigration policy -- that it incentivizes bringing children across the border. If you're a family from a country that does not border the United States, you are not automatically deported. Often times, family members are allowed to essentially go free while their immigration proceedings are pending.
The three broadcast networks also cited the Reuters story on Alonzo's mother but did not mention that she forthrightly admitted that it is common knowledge in her community that the U.S. rewards migrants who bring children with them across the border.