MSNBC: ‘Fully Understand’ Illegal Immigrants ‘Scared’ of Hurricane Shelters

During a live report from Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday morning about the impact of Hurricane Florence, MSNBC’s Kate Snow noted that some people refused to evacuate to local storm shelters, including illegal immigrants afraid of deportation. Moments later, anchor Ali Velshi sympathized with the non-fact-based concern, alluding to immigration policies under the Trump administration.

“In fact, some families telling us they were scared to leave because they’re Latino and they were afraid of going to the shelters,” Snow reported. She then provided a fact-check: “Of course the governor of North Carolina has said that no one will be, you know, penalized for going to a shelter....ICE is not gonna be active at this point. But there were people staying in their homes out of fear.”

 

 

Velshi reiterated that point: “And this business about people without documentation going to shelters, we’ve heard over and over again that ICE doesn’t go to shelters.” However, he then indulged those unfounded fears as he took a jab at the Trump administration: “But I gotta tell you, after the past couple of years, I can fully understand why people who are undocumented are scared about doing this sort of thing.”

While covering Hurricane Harvey in 2017, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle pressed Texas Governor Greg Abbott on the same issue, fretting: ““How about risk of deportation for those undocumented immigrants that could be in the way of the storm’s path? Are they in the clear to go to some of these evacuation centers? Do they have to show ID?”

In the midst of a major natural disaster, it’s imperative for the media to provide accurate safety information and not to fearmonger. Reporters should be advising viewers on weather conditions, not playing politics.

Here is a transcript of the September 14 exchange between Snow and Velshi during MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson:

10:26 AM ET

(...)

KATE SNOW: There’s an area of manufactured homes that we visited yesterday, for example, in a lower area, where a lot of people had stayed behind. In fact, some families telling us they were scared to leave because they’re Latino and they were afraid of going to the shelters. Of course the governor of North Carolina has said that no one will be, you know, penalized for going to a shelter. They’re not gonna, they’re not gonna –  ICE is not gonna be active at this point. But there were people staying in their homes out of fear.

Some people I talked to just didn’t have the money to leave, they didn’t have the money to go to a hotel. In fact, right next to me, there’s an apartment building right here and I’m seeing people peek out now, trying to try to assess how bad things are. It’s gonna be a number of hours before this clears out, and then the concern is gonna be the rain and the flooding.

ALI VELSHI: Yeah, some people don’t have a place to go. There are some people who need medical care, their care aid is local and isn’t leaving, there’s some people who need oxygen. And this business about people without documentation going to shelters, we’ve heard over and over again that ICE doesn’t go to shelters. But I gotta tell you, after the past couple of years, I can fully understand why people who are undocumented are scared about doing this sort of thing.

(...)


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NBDaily Environment Hurricanes Immigration MSNBC Video Ali Velshi Kate Snow