CBS Touts Syrian Refugees 'Feeling Misjudged;' Hypes Armed Protest

Manuel Bojorquez zeroed in on the plight of a Syrian refugee family in Texas on Monday's CBS This Morning, and played up how they "feel misjudged after the Paris attacks, and after Texas recently ordered volunteer organizations that help resettle refuges from Syria to discontinue those plans immediately." Bojorquez later spotlighted how "about a dozen people — some armed with long guns — protested in front of a mosque outside Dallas" against the Obama administration's plan to bring 10,000 refugees from Syria [video below].

Anchor Norah O'Donnell teased the correspondents' report by outlining that "there are some refugees at the center of a heated national debate. Ahead, we want you to meet one Syrian family in Texas that has been caught in the middle of this argument — why they say security concerns may be misplaced." A graphic that ran during the promo touted "An American Tale." O'Donnell gave another preview for the segment by trumpeting that "the debate over letting Syrian refuges into this country intensifies. So what about those already here? We'll take you to Texas where one migrant family is feeling misjudged, as tension and fear grow."

Bojorquez featured a Syrian family from the town of Daraa, who first traveled to Jordan in 2013, and went through the U.S.'s two-year refugee application process:

MANUEL BOJORQUEZ: The playground where Fayez takes his family is a world away from his hometown of Daraa, Syria. He says this is what his old neighborhood looks like now. Fayez and his wife, Shaza — they asked us not to reveal their last names — fled in 2013 to Jordan, where they applied for refugee status in the U.S. — a two-year process. This February, they moved near Dallas, and are now raising two daughters — an infant and a toddler. Fayez works at Walmart, and is learning to speak English.

FAYEZ: I'm happy, because I live in America.

BOJORQUEZ: But they also feel misjudged after the Paris attacks, and after Texas recently ordered volunteer organizations that help resettle refuges from Syria to discontinue those plans immediately.

BOJORQUEZ (on-camera): Do you think the process you went through is enough to possibly root out anyone who could try to be coming in to carry out terror here?

BOJORQUEZ (voice-over): 'It's impossible that any terrorist can come to America through any refugee program,' he says. 'There are six or seven months for a background check.'

The CBS journalist later played footage of the protest outside the mosque in Irving, Texas. He included a clip from organizer David Wright from an organization called the Bureau of American Islamic Relations (not to be confused with the Council on American-Islamic Relations), who stated that his group was "protesting Syrian refugees coming to America — protesting the Islamization of America." He then added that the day after the protest, "when we asked to spend more time with the family, they declined — citing concerns over their safety."

Journalist Avi Selk editorialized about Wright's protest in his Saturday article for the Dallas Morning News: "It was a strange protest, held at a strange time in a suburb strangely relevant to America’s brand of anti-Islamic politics." Selk describes himself on his Twitter profile as "NOT AN OPINION COLUMNIST BUT A MERE REPORTER" (emphasis his).

Back in July 2015, Bojorquez turned to "activist scholar" Elizabeth Kennedy for her take on the thousands of Central American children illegally entering the United States. However, he didn't point out that Kennedy is a favorite talking head on the immigration issue in the liberal media, nor did he mention her past writing for an organization funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros.

The full transcript of Manuel Bojorquez's report from the November 23, 2015 edition of CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: This morning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is doubling down on his stand against accepting Syrian refugees. His administration is ordering volunteer groups to stop bringing the immigrant — the migrants to Texas. The state has taken in nearly 200 Syrian refugees this year.

Manuel Bojorquez met one of those families. He's set — he's at the state house in Austin. Manuel, good morning.

MANUEL BOJORQUEZ: Good morning. Greg Abbott was among the first governors to stop accepting Syrian refugees after the Paris attacks, citing security concerns. As that debate rages on, Syrian refugees already in the United States are trying to adjust to a new life as best they can.

BOJORQUEZ (voice-over): The playground where Fayez takes his family is a world away from his hometown of Daraa, Syria. He says this is what his old neighborhood looks like now. Fayez and his wife, Shaza — they asked us not to reveal their last names — fled in 2013 to Jordan, where they applied for refugee status in the U.S. — a two-year process. This February, they moved near Dallas, and are now raising two daughters — an infant and a toddler. Fayez works at Walmart, and is learning to speak English.

FAYEZ: I'm happy, because I live in America.

BOJORQUEZ: But they also feel misjudged after the Paris attacks, and after Texas recently ordered volunteer organizations that help resettle refuges from Syria to discontinue those plans immediately.

BOJORQUEZ (on-camera): Do you think the process you went through is enough to possibly root out anyone who could try to be coming in to carry out terror here?

BOJORQUEZ (voice-over): 'It's impossible that any terrorist can come to America through any refugee program,' he says. 'There are six or seven months for a background check.'

Many of the attackers in Paris were French nationals, and lived in Belgium. However, one bomber had a fake Syrian passport, and traveled with the waves of refugees that overwhelmed Europe in recent months.

In Texas, there is another worry: the border with Mexico. Three Syrian families arrived there last week, and surrendered to immigration officials — apparently, seeking asylum. On Saturday, about a dozen people — some armed with long guns — protested in front of a mosque outside Dallas.

DAVID WRIGHT, BUREAU OF AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS: We're here protesting Syrian refugees coming to America — protesting the Islamization of America.

BOJORQUEZ: The next day, when we asked to spend more time with the family, they declined — citing concerns over their safety.

BOJORQUEZ (live): There have been rallies here in support of refugees as well. And while the governor of Texas says states do have the legal authority to bar refugees from coming in, officials in Washington say states cannot dictate federal policy. Gayle?

GAYLE KING: Thank you very much — very much, Manuel.

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