If you read USA Today you might think that not having a criminal record and being the mother of at least one American-born child is all you need to get on the fast-track to U.S. citizenship – even if you are an illegal alien. In reality, that’s not the standard for legal admission to, or lawful presence within, the United States. But amidst the clichés and tear-jerking snippets regularly featured in USA Today’s immigration coverage, you’d never know that.
Recently, the paper published an article titled, “Mothers With No Criminal Pasts Await Deportation in Jail: ‘Fight for Us, Please.’” The piece allegedly sheds light on the plight of a group of women being held on deportation charges in the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek, Mich. And, according to USA Today, this is an outrage because they’re moms, without criminal convictions. Except that they’re not.
By USA Today’s own admission, “most have no criminal convictions,” which clearly implies that some, in fact, do have criminal convictions. However, USA Today declines to inform its readers how many of the ostensibly blameless ladies have actually fallen afoul of the criminal justice system.
Then we find out that not all of them are actually mothers. Per USA Today, the group consists of about 30 women, some fifteen of them who are mothers. Although the implication is that all of the mothers gave birth to their children in the United States, readers are never provided with any information regarding exactly how many of the women’s children are actually United States citizens.
So, who exactly are these women? Illegal aliens, plain and simple. Every one of them is being removed from the United States because she either entered the United States unlawfully or overstayed a visa. And most have already been formally ordered removed from the United Sates by the U.S. Immigration Court.
Those women whose removal was deferred by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were only allowed to remain in the United States pursuant to the Obama administration’s “Priority Enforcement Program” (PEP). However, the PEP was of dubious legality and did not (because it could not) confer any permanent protection on anyone. In essence, it was an exercise of governmental discretion, which could be withdrawn at any time. But USA Today omits those essential details, instead stating that one of the women was “spared deportation in 2014 by an executive order.”
So, for the sake accuracy, USA Today probably should have called its article something like, “Women with Extensive History of Violating U.S. Immigration Law Likely to Be Deported in Accordance with Relevant Statutes.” But the paper’s editors probably didn’t like that, because it doesn’t fit the mainstream media’s false narrative that American immigration policies are cruel and oppressive.
Of course, the real news here is the fact that the Trump administration takes immigration enforcement seriously. And American voters, most of whom are parents with no criminal convictions, are overjoyed.