MSNBC: ‘Xenophobic Nonsense’ to Say Migrant Parents Endangering Children

Appearing on MSNBC Live With Katy Tur Monday afternoon to discuss illegal immigration, reporter Cal Perry launched into a rant claiming that anyone criticizing migrant parents for bringing their children on the dangerous journey to the United States was spewing “xenophobic nonsense.” He even claimed that the U.S. was responsible for violence in Latin America.

While talking about the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal, in Border Patrol custody, Perry understandably sympathized: “So it’s a terrible decision as a parent. Do you go into the desert, like Jakelin did, and risk your child’s life, right? Or do you sit at a center in Juarez and risk your child’s life?”

 

 

Tur lamented: “There are folks out there who watch this and they say, ‘Hey listen, our country wasn’t  designed for this. It wasn’t designed to let anyone come over the border and say, ‘Hey, I want to be an American now.’” Putting little thought into the reasoning behind such a position, she flippantly claimed that “the political argument would be, ‘Hey, listen, that’s just the way it is. Sorry, it’s just the way it is.’”

Moments later, Perry blasted people who held such views and ranted that American foreign policy created the chaos in Central America that migrants were fleeing:

Our country was designed for exactly this. America is an idea. And America is an idea that everybody should take a part in. It’s an idea of civil liberties. This is what you and I signed up for. America is a shining light on a hill. Those kids can see El Paso, they can see the shining light on the hill.

So this xenophobic stuff about, “These kids are sick.” This xenophobic nonsense about, “Parents are putting their children in danger.” Parents are fleeing deadly violence across Latin America, oftentimes as a result of the policies that this government has put into place. I’m not talking about the Trump government, I’m talking about years and years of American history.     

Wrapping up the segment, Tur argued: “Again, no one just gets up one day and says, “I want to walk 2,000 miles for fun with a 2-year-old.” Perry declared: “No, and anyone who says that is xenophobic.”

Earlier, in the 11:00 a.m. ET hour, Perry told anchor Craig Melvin that the Trump administration was to blame for migrants traveling through the desert:

The bottom line is President Trump has said repeatedly he wants migrants to present themselves only at Ports of Entry. How many times have we heard that? And now what we’re hearing from CBP is the Ports of Entry are full and that they cannot take any more people. The end result of this is that you have migrants who are making the decision to go a more dangerous route through the desert. That’s what happened to Jakelin.

He further proclaimed: “It’s something that this administration is doing intentionally to be cruel to send a message to the rest of the world.”

Perry is not a reporter, he is a left-wing activist parroting carefully-crafted partisan talking points to push a political agenda. There is simply no other way to interpret such incendiary statements.

Here is a transcript of Perry’s December 17 exchange with Tur:

2:41 PM ET

(...)

CAL PERRY: Up until a few months ago, you could come to the border, you present yourself to CBP officials, and you start asylum process. That, by the way, is international law. What's happening now is the Trump administration, in coordination with their counterparts in Mexico, have agreed to put these migrants in a center in Juarez. And that’s the video you’re seeing of the numbers on their arms. Now, it’s important to note that Mexican groups are putting these numbers on the arm, partly to attract this kind of attention. But it’s a Catch 22 –

KATY TUR: Why? Because it looks like the Holocaust?

PERRY: Yeah, yeah, because it looks like the holocaust because these people are being treated like numbers. We’re down to about 60 a day. It’s what’s called metering. Only 60 people allowed across the border per day.

I want to show you a statement from CBP. We got this late last night. We pressed them on an answer, why is this happening? And what they gave us was basically a statement that says the “Port of Entry facilities were not designed to hold hundreds of people at a time when these people are seeking asylum.”

So President Trump is telling the world you have to present yourself at a Port of Entry. We’ve heard him say that a hundred times. CBP is now saying the Ports of Entry are full. So these kids with the numbers on their arms, who can see El Paso from where they are, have no way of getting there in any reasonable time or fashion. Juarez is not a safe place.

So it’s a terrible decision as a parent. Do you go into the desert, like Jakelin did, and risk your child’s life, right? Or do you sit at a center in Juarez and risk your child’s life? These families are coming from horrible places, these people know what’s going on. This idea that folks don’t understand the dangers is crazy. They’re making the decision, “If I’m separated from my child, it’ll be better than what I live with now. If something happens to me, it’ll be better than what I live with now.” All of these kids know there’s a chance they'll be separated from their parents. The thing that was striking was none of them would go more than an arm’s length away from mom or dad because they’ve been told, “If I turn around and I don’t see you, I may never see you again.”

TUR: There are folks out there who watch this and they say, “Hey listen, our country wasn’t  designed for this. It wasn’t designed to let anyone come over the border and say, ‘Hey, I want to be an American now.’” And the political argument would be, “Hey, listen, that’s just the way it is. Sorry, it’s just the way it is.” Listen to what Jason Chaffetz, who used to be a congressman, is now an analyst for Fox News, said.

JASAN CHAFFETZ: The sad reality is we have a 7-year-old girl who has died and she should have never, ever made that journey. And that should be the message, “Don’t make this journey, it will kill you.” And that should be the message.

TUR: Obviously that wasn’t Jason Chaffetz in the beginning there, but that was him at the end.

PERRY: Our country was designed for exactly this. America is an idea. And America is an idea that everybody should take a part in. It’s an idea of civil liberties. This is what you and I signed up for. America is a shining light on a hill. Those kids can see El Paso, they can see the shining light on the hill.

So this xenophobic stuff about, “These kids are sick.” This xenophobic nonsense about, “Parents are putting their children in danger.” Parents are fleeing deadly violence across Latin America, oftentimes as a result of the policies that this government has put into place. I’m not talking about the Trump government, I’m talking about years and years of American history.

TUR: I think any parent would tell you that you don’t put your kids in a dangerous position unless, you just don’t. Unless it’s the only position you have.

PERRY: And these folks know that the child separation policy is going on. So the folks who are showing up in Juarez, it’s not as though I'm saying to them, “Do you know there’s a chance you could be separated from your child?” They’re saying to me, “I’ve prepared my child for the fact that I might be separated from them and never see them again.”

TUR: Remarkable, remarkable. Again, no one just gets up one day and says, “I want to walk 2,000 miles for fun with a 2-year-old.

PERRY: No, and anyone who says that is xenophobic.

(...)


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