Here is a headline from CBS This Morning: “Undocumented transgender woman filing domestic violence claim arrested at El Paso courthouse by ICE, official says.” The ultimate victim! An illegal immigrant transgender woman abused by a domestic partner, deported for the crime of showing up to a courthouse! Stop the presses!
Here are some other media headlines about this horrifying story: “ICE detains domestic-violence victim in El Paso court.” Huffington Post: “ICE Reportedly Detained A Domestic Abuse Victim Who Sought Court Protection.” Newser: “ICE Agents Arrest Woman in Domestic Violence Court.” New York Magazine: “ICE Arrests Domestic Violence Victim at Texas Courthouse.” The Washington Post: “‘This is really unprecedented’: ICE detains woman seeking domestic abuse protection at Texas courthouse.” Even Fox News: “ICE Agents Reported Arrest Alleged Domestic Violence Victim At Texas Courthouse.”
Now, here’s how the headline should have read: “ICE Agents Arrest Repeatedly Convicted Criminal For Deportation At Courthouse.”
The transgender woman in question has been deported six times before and “voluntarily returned to Mexico one other time.” Here’s the rap sheet from 2013: assault, probation violation, domestic violence, false imprisonment of a minor.
That information is buried in the second-to-last paragraph of the 19-paragraph CBS News story. The Washington Post buries that information in paragraph 10. The Huffington Post didn’t mention that at all.
All of the stories mentioned a comment from the county prosecutor, who said that ICE knew about the deportee’s location because of an anonymous tip. The prosecutor suggested that the tip came from the alleged domestic abuser – but admitted that she had no specific information that would lead her to that conclusion. There are provisions in US law that apparently prevent arrest of someone for immigration status based solely on reports from a domestic abuser.
But you don’t get the whole story from the media, particularly not from their headlines. The crusade is now on to find victims of the supposedly Gestapo-esque Trump immigration enforcement policy. And the media won’t let inconvenient facts like repeat criminality of those arrested stand in the way.