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Fox host grills Trump chief: How do women and babies 'threaten national security'?

Chris Wallace made Kirstjen Nielsen answer for Trump’s racist fear-mongering.

By Tommy Christopher - October 28, 2018
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Chris Wallace and Kirstjen Nielsen

Trump is reportedly considering a plan to ban Central American refugees from entering the U.S. — supposedly in the interests of national security.

But even Fox News anchor Chris Wallace doesn’t see how a caravan of desperate women and children constitutes any kind of threat to our country.

On this week’s edition of “Fox News Sunday,” Wallace asked Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen about a Washington Post report that Trump plans to use his executive powers to close the southern border to Central American refugees and deny them asylum.

“On what legal basis could he do that?” Wallace asked.

Nielsen dodged the question by claiming there’s a “crisis” at the southern U.S. border — even though apprehensions for illegal border crossings, a misdemeanor offense, have steadily fallen over the last two decades.

Wallace pressed Nielsen further.

“The question I have is, he’s talking specifically about a provision where the president gets to protect national security,” Wallace said. “We’re talking in many cases here about women, about children, about babies. How do they threaten national security?”

Nielsen replied with a lengthy digression about asylum-seekers that had nothing to do with national security — and concluded by citing dubious statistics that have nothing to do with the caravan.

“We stop 3,000 people a year who have travel patterns similar to terrorists from attempting to come in the Southwest border,” Nielsen claimed. “And as you know, in general, we stop, across the United States, 10 suspected terrorists a day from getting into the United States.”

Nielsen used misleading language to suggest that the people crossing the southern border are dangerous.

As Vice President Mike Pence was recently forced to concede after trying to prop up Trump’s racist lies about the caravan, the U.S. stops about 10 suspected terrorists a day at all U.S. ports of entry, not at the southern border.

While Nielsen avoided making the same factual mistake as Pence, she still misled viewers by bringing up the “10 a day” statistic in the context of discussing the southern border.

Similarly, a person isn’t a national security threat just because they have “travel patterns similar to terrorists,” whatever that means. With that comment, Nielsen is likely referring to the 3,028 migrants the Department of Homeland Security calls “special interest aliens” because they come from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria and Somalia.

“We do not see any evidence that ISIS or other Sunni terrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the southern U.S. border,” a U.S. counterterrorism official told the New York Times.

Trump himself was recently forced to admit that there is “no proof of anything” he has been saying about the caravan.

The truth is simple: Trump is demonizing refugees to whip up his base with racist fear-mongering about Latino and Middle Eastern people.

But even one of Fox News’ most influential anchors isn’t buying it — and neither should decent Americans who aren’t part of Trump’s racist fan club.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


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