CNN Caught Lying About Biden Administration’s Illegal Immigration Fiasco

CNN Caught Lying About Biden Administration’s Illegal Immigration Fiasco

It is unsurprising the Biden administration’s apologists seek to spin his use of Title 42 expulsions because the truth shows how his border policies have caused the immigration crisis.
Margot Cleveland
By

The crisis on the U.S. southern border continues to escalate, with border agents in June alone intercepting aliens nearly 190,000 times—a number not seen in more than 20 years. So bad is the situation that this week the Washington Post’s editorial board demanded a “cohesive border strategy” from the Biden administration and even CNN’s Brianna Keilar declared the president “has a real problem on his hands.”

While the leftist press has finally acknowledged the problem, the corrupt media remains committed to serving as the propaganda arm of the Biden administration, as most vividly demonstrated by Keilar’s Monday segment on CNN, which ran above the chyron “Biden’s Border Crisis Met with Incendiary Rhetoric from Right.”

Keilar’s segment dedicated a mere 20 seconds to the Biden administration’s border crisis before the “New Day” host pivoted to a nearly nine-minute “analysis” that accused the right of racism and portrayed conservatives’ outrage over the invasion taking place at the southern border as responsible for the mass killings at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018 and at a Walmart in El Paso in 2019.

Keilar then attempted to counter the border crisis’s negative impact on America’s fight against COVID. She began with a clip of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stating the obvious to all but CNN viewers: “If you don’t want to see this pandemic come back—come back with the Delta variant or many—most of these illegal immigrants coming in having been vaccinated. They’re being put in cages with other people who are COVID-positive. They’re spreading COVID and then releasing COVID in our communities. This is lunacy.”

At this point, Keilar pulled her best Jen Psaki impression, claiming “the Biden administration has been using a Trump administration policy known as Title 42. It means that hundreds of thousands of migrants at the southern border, including asylum seekers, can’t enter because of the COVID public health emergency.” “Again, the Biden administration is enforcing Title 42,” Keilar reiterated, adding “in fact, since Biden took over—took office, over 510,000 people have been expelled under that rule. That is nearly twice as many people as those who were apprehended.”

While intoning these supposedly impressive statistics, CNN flashed the following graphic, showing a huge uptick in June of Title 42 expulsions, which immediately or expeditiously return aliens to the country from which they entered or to their home country. The graph, however, depicted as stable the number of so-called Title 8 apprehensions, in which aliens are allowed to remain in the United States pending further immigration proceedings that may take years to complete.

The CNN graphic is entirely false: The x-axis maintains that the numbers on the y-axis represent the “Title 42 Expulsions” and “Title 8 Apprehensions” for June, but official government statics instead show in June 103,014 Title 42 expulsions and 75,402 Title 8 apprehensions by U.S. Border Patrol, and an additional 1,893 Title 42 expulsions and 8,520 encounters by the Office of Field Operations.

Correctly graphed, these official figures plot much differently and show, not a sharp uptick in the number of alien expulsions under Title 42 in June, but a decline in the Biden administration’s use of Title 42.

It is hard to believe that CNN’s graphic represented an honest mistake given that, in her discussion of the figures, Keilar noted that the 500,000-plus figure of Title 42 expulsions represented the total number since Biden took office, and given that the graphic showed the number of aliens processed under Title 8 at the monthly June tally and not the cumulative figure. (Since the story ran, I have sought clarification from Keilar, CNN, and CNN’s media watchdog Brian Stelter, but without success.)

Given how bad things are at the border, it is unsurprising the Biden administration’s apologists in the press seek to spin his use of Title 42 expulsions, because the truth provides a glimpse into how their border policies have caused the current immigration crisis.

Under the Trump administration, the number of aliens crossing the southern border allowed to remain in our country dropped below 10,000 shortly after the Title 42 order was issued. It remained fairly stable, while the number of aliens expelled shot up. The first month of the Biden administration saw only a slight increase in both figures, until unchecked border crossings increased exponentially, followed by a decrease in the use of its Title 42 authority.

The following graphics likewise show both the substantial increase in border crossings and the Biden administration’s decreasing use in its expulsion authority.

These figures and accurate graphics tell the truth: While the Biden administration continues to use the Title 42 authority the Trump administration established to handle the COVID public health emergency, the Biden administration has significantly reduced its reliance on this very valuable tool to protect Americans. In fact, as of June, the number of aliens expelled under Title 42 fell nearly to the same level as the aliens remaining in the country.

Further, while the president continues to use his Title 42 authority to exclude nearly 90 percent of adults crossing the southern border, the Biden administration refuses to use Title 42 authority when minors—including older teenagers—cross the border unaccompanied by an adult.

This misguided policy has resulted in overwhelmed border facilities and “kids in cages” becoming “kids stacked in cages” during the pandemic. It also encourages further border crossers, putting those children at risk of sexual abuse and trafficking, which also funds criminal organizations that render their home countries even more violent, thus triggering an escalated desire for aliens to escape to America.

The Biden administration has also greatly reduced its use of Title 42 to close the border to alien families during the pandemic. In June 2021, the Biden administration expelled less than 20 percent of alien families who crossed the border.

These realities prompted House Republican Rep. Chip Roy to “introduce legislation for a discharge petition to require the enforcement of Title 42 so that we will turn people away at the border who have COVID rather than forcing this ridiculousness on the American people.” Yet, while reporting Roy’s comments, CNN pretended the Biden administration is enforcing Title 42, then flashed an inaccurate graph to “prove” its point.

The Biden administration also wants Americans to believe that, in response to the border crisis and the increased risk of COVID the Delta variant presents, the president continues to follow former President Trump’s border policies. In fact, just last week, the Biden administration filed an order in the case of Huisha-Huisha v. Mayorkas—named after Biden Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas—informing the court of the Biden administration’s conclusion that, pursuant to Title 42, it will “continue[] to prohibit the introduction of ‘covered noncitizens’ into the United States along the U.S. land and adjacent coastal borders,” which includes “family units.”

The Biden administration explained that the Centers for Disease Control concluded that the Title 42 order remained appropriate given the particular risks of COVID-19 transmission in congregated settings, the inability to maintain physical distancing at Department of Homeland Security settings, especially given the significant increase in the numbers of migrants crossing the border, the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, “and the uptick in community transmission and hospitalizations along the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Previously, the Biden administration and American Civil Liberties Union had agreed to hold in abeyance the ACLU’s threatened class-action lawsuit that challenged the Title 42 order as it applied to alien families, but following the Biden administration’s renewal of the Trump expulsion order, the parties informed presiding Judge Emmett Sullivan last week that they had reached an impasse. In turn, Judge Sullivan directed the ACLU to file a reply in support of its motion for a preliminary injunction, which is due today.

Following briefing and argument, Sullivan is almost certain to hold that the Title 42 order is invalid when applied to alien families because he had previously held in P.J.E.S. v. Mayorkas that the Title 42 order is invalid when applied to unaccompanied minors. In that case, Judge Sullivan enjoined enforcement of the Title 42 order. However, after the Trump administration appealed that decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the appellate court stayed Judge Sullivan’s decision, allowing the Title 42 order to continue to be used to expel minors.

Once the Biden administration took over, his legal team agreed with the ACLU to hold the case in abeyance. Lee Gelernt, one of the lead ACLU attorneys in P.J.E.S. v. Mayorkas, told me the case will remain on hold because, at the moment, “the Biden administration is not expelling unaccompanied minors under Title 42.”

Given the Biden administration’s stingy use of the Title 42 order to expel families, one must wonder if the president’s claim to stand by the Trump Title 42 order is pure politics. While professing his dedication to protecting the border amidst the COVID crisis, he seems happy to allow the court to “force” him to do what he wants to do: abandon any semblance of border security.

One thing is certain: The Biden administration’s buddies in the press will provide any cover necessary to the president, even if that cover requires lies, damn lies, and CNN graphics.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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