‘Caring for Migrant Children’: NBC Touts Dems Ahead of Debate

Wednesday was the night, the first 2020 Democratic primary debate and NBC Nightly News spent part of their airtime touting the candidates who traveled to migrant detention centers to campaign against President Trump.

With the on-screen headline reading “caring for migrant children,” anchor Lester Holt noted that “some of the Democratic candidates spent the hours leading up to tonight's debate visiting a center here in Florida, where over 13,000 migrant children have been placed since March of last year, as outrage grows about conditions inside these facilities.”

Correspondent Jacob Soboroff began his report by calling attention to “the country's largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children” just south of the debate location. Suggesting the conditions were “prison-like”, he touted that “the for-profit privately run shelter becoming a must visit for 2020 hopefuls.

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar both stopping by just hours before the debate,” he added. “Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg all planning visits before the week’s end.

Soboroff also recalled when Congressman Eric ‘nuke the gun owners’ Swalwell visited the facility last week and wasn’t allowed in. “If there's nothing to hide, you’d let a congressman in,” Swalwell whined in the soundbite.

 

 

Of course, NBC didn’t mention that it was Swalwell’s tactic to show up to government facilities unannounced and make a scene when they refused him entry. These facilities, especially the one's housing unaccompanied children, can’t just let any visitor in off the street.

Tonight, many 2020 Democrats using the Homestead shelter which doesn't have cages as a backdrop, calling for this facility and others like it to be closed down for good,” he said.

Despite the fact that some House and Senate Democrats (including some of the 2020 candidates) refused to allocate more humanitarian funds to help Customs and Border Protection, Soboroff bragged about NBC political director Chuck Todd pressing President Trump on the situation last week:

CHUCK TODD: Down in Homestead, Florida, that’s where I grew up, the conditions are terrible.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I agree.

TODD: Do something!

TRUMP: And it's been that way for a long time.

TODD: Do something.

TRUMP: And President Obama built the cages.

Immediately following that soundbite, Soboroff seemed to chide the Trump administration because legal funds for migrants were running out. “This is directly tied to that border appropriation funding bill. And until it passes you may see child migrants show up in immigration court including babies to defend themselves from deportation,” he concluded.

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

NBC Nightly News
June 26, 2019
7:07:15 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: And some of the Democratic candidates spent the hours leading up to tonight's debate visiting a center here in Florida, where over 13,000 migrant children have been placed since March of last year, as outrage grows about conditions inside these facilities. Here’s NBC Jacob Soboroff.

[Cuts to video]

JACOB SOBOROFF: Sitting just 30 miles south of tonight’s debate stage, the country's largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children, where conditions have been called prison-like. The for-profit privately run shelter becoming a must visit for 2020 hopefuls.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: It is a stain on our country.

SOBOROFF: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar both stopping by just hours before the debate.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR: This President has put us into this situation with an inhumane policy.

WARREN: What's happening here at Homestead is wrong, and we will fight it with everything we have.

PROTESTERS: Let him in!

SOBOROFF: Earlier this week, Congressman Eric Swalwell was denied access.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL: If there's nothing to hide, you’d let a congressman in.

SOBOROFF: Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg all planning visits before the week’s end.

Nearly 2,500 unaccompanied children are currently being held here, staying an average of 36 days. Court filings describe the conditions inside, children given limited contact with families, showers limited to five minutes, and no touching, even siblings.

President Trump was recently pressed about the shelter by NBC's Chuck Todd.

CHUCK TODD: Down in Homestead, Florida, that’s where I grew up, the conditions are terrible.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I agree.

TODD: Do something!

TRUMP: And it's been that way for a long time.

TODD: Do something.

TRUMP: And President Obama built the cages.

SOBOROFF: Tonight, many 2020 Democrats using the Homestead shelter which doesn't have cages as a backdrop, calling for this facility and others like it to be closed down for good.

[Cuts back to live]

HOLT: And Jacob, there's breaking news that could impact some of the children detained at Homestead. What can you tell us?

SOBOROFF: That's right, Lester. Late this afternoon we broke the story that HHS now acknowledges that federal funds used to provide free legal defense for child migrants in facilities just like this is now running out. No funds are available to be used in the two new facilities that are being stood up on military bases. This is directly tied to that border appropriation funding bill. And until it passes you may see child migrants show up in immigration court including babies to defend themselves from deportation. Lester.

HOLT: All right. Jacob, Thank you.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Immigration Bias by Omission Broadcast Television NBC NBC Nightly News Video Lester Holt Jacob Soboroff Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Pete Buttigieg Beto O'Rourke Kamala Harris

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