Guilt Trip: NBC Paints America as the Villain Thwarting Caravan Progress

With the caravan of migrants now sitting at an entry point on the U.S.-Mexico border outside California, the liberal major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were sure to make it a big part of their Monday evening broadcasts. And while ABC and CBS both bemoaned how the people were stuck as they waited to attempt to get into the country, the report on NBC Nightly News cast America in a negative light as they portrayed us as a moral conundrum.

Anchor Lester Holt began the segment by coming down on America hard. “Tonight a very public test of American resolve over immigration policy as well as the limits of American compassion is happening at the California/Mexico border,” he opined in a somber tone. “It's a tough ask in most times, but maybe even tougher in this political environment.” That introduction set the tone for depicting America as the cause of the problems the report would cover.

Tonight, these are the faces of the desperate, locked out on the doorstep of the United States waiting,” bemoaned NBC reporter Miguel Almaguer who was with the caravan. “The migrant caravan mostly women and children, some 150 fleeing violence in Central America and seeking asylum, have traveled nearly 3,000 miles, but the last 300 feet into the U.S. may prove impossible.

Almaguer’s entire report was delivered in a sorrowful and mournful tone. “Arriving Sunday, the migrants can see freedom just beyond the border wall,” he added. “Four weeks ago, the caravan began its journey near the Guatemalan border on foot, by train, and bus they've slept on streets and shelters, before finally reaching Tijuana.

 

 

The NBC reporter detailed the process the migrants would need to go through if they hoped to gain asylum status. Almaguer seemed to complain about the asylum seeking process citing the low success rate and the length of the wait:

With many planning to apply for asylum under persecution of a social group, after the migrants surrender, they'll be interviewed. Some will be denied. Others could be allowed to enter the U.S., or been detained, awaiting an asylum decision that can take years, and is often unsuccessful. Many here call this the point of no return, a desperate journey with one last roadblock that may be impossible to pass.

And while he shared some of the sad stories of the people traveling, Almaguer didn’t seem to care to note whether or not they actually met the requirements for asylum. One of the key requirements is that the person must be facing some kind of persecution based on a protected group status, such as political or religious persecution. But the stories Almaguer and the rest of the networks cited was from those people escaping crime.

In wrapping up his report, Almaguer huffed about Border Patrol not building the migrants, who were camping outside, better accommodations. “With nowhere to go, those 150 migrants say they'll sleep here at the port of entry again tonight,” he said. “Families will spend the night here again in the cold.” He also cautioned viewers that the caravan might face the same fate as the last large group to show up, which was “told to turn around and go back home.

By describing how far in their journey they’ve come, how close they were to getting into the U.S., and how the process was bound to send them home, this NBC report painted America as the one ruining their lives.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

 

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NBC Nightly News
April 30, 2018
7:07:03 PM Eastern [2 minutes 35 seconds]

LESTER HOLT: Tonight a very public test of American resolve over immigration policy as well as the limits of American compassion is happening at the California/Mexico border. The caravan of Central American migrants, President Trump has been railing on for the last few weeks, has arrived at the border, asking for asylum from persecution, that they will argue they face at home. It's a tough ask in most times, but maybe even tougher in this political environment. Our Miguel Almaguer is in Tijuana tonight.

[Cuts to video]

MIGUEL ALMAGUER: Tonight, these are the faces of the desperate, locked out on the doorstep of the United States waiting. The migrant caravan mostly women and children, some 150 fleeing violence in Central America and seeking asylum, have traveled nearly 3,000 miles, but the last 300 feet into the U.S. may prove impossible.

Catherine says gangs in Honduras could kill her daughter Ashley if she doesn't pay for their protection. Arriving Sunday, the migrants can see freedom just beyond the border wall. Four weeks ago, the caravan began its journey near the Guatemalan border on foot, by train, and bus they've slept on streets and shelters, before finally reaching Tijuana. Cecelia Carillo says she and her baby have nowhere to turn. The Vice President today at the border.

MIKE PENCE: The 150 men and women and many small children that are being processed at our border not far from here will be completely reviewed by our customs officials under our asylum laws.

ALMAGUER: With many planning to apply for asylum under persecution of a social group, after the migrants surrender, they'll be interviewed. Some will be denied. Others could be allowed to enter the U.S., or been detained, awaiting an asylum decision that can take years, and is often unsuccessful.

Many here call this the point of no return, a desperate journey with one last road block that may be impossible to pass.

[Cuts back to live]

With nowhere to go, those 150 migrants say they'll sleep here at the port of entry again tonight. Three officials tell NBC News there are no plans to build any shelter. Families will spend the night here again in the cold. The last time there were crowds this size was two years ago when the vast majority of Haitians were told to turn around and go back home. Lester?

HOLT: All right, Miguel Almaguer in Tijuana for us tonight, thank you.


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