A sitting U.S. congressman says the Democratic Party is “relying” on the legacy media not to report on the exploding human rights catastrophe at the U.S. border with Mexico, an issue that undermines President Joe Biden’s standing with voters more than any other.
“The Democrats think that we’re going to stop talking about this, because they’re going to get the press to stop talking about it, and that’s really what’s going on right now,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) told Fox News on May 22. “They’re relying on the mainstream media to not talk about it any more, and they think if they don’t talk about it, it will go away.”
The administration has taken pains to fend off the issue by branding the crisis as merely a “challenge,” bottling up the release of photos or videos from inside U.S. detention facilities, and avoiding anything that would generate press coverage of this lingering sore spot.
Vice President Kamala Harris, whom President Biden has named to oversee the immigration crisis, has refused to visit the area two months after taking ownership of the issue portfolio.
Congressman Jackson said the vice president has stayed away from the Rio Grande “because the border is a disaster and she doesn’t want to be associated with it, either. From day one, she wants nothing to do with the border.”
Neither, apparently, do the media. After years of focusing on “kids in cages,” the legacy media have suddenly turned a blind eye to historic surges in illegal immigration to the United States, and the Border Patrol/Homeland Security response to them — even though 43% of Americans told the Pew Research Center the media have not spent enough time covering immigration.
A whopping 68% of Americans — including 39% of Democrats — say the Biden-Harris administration is doing a “very” or “somewhat bad” job handling illegal immigration, according to Pew.
But the PR disaster is the least dangerous one on the border.
April saw more illegal immigrants entering the United States through the Southern border than any time in the last 21 years. “In all, CBP encountered 178,622 people attempting to enter the United States, a three percent increase from March, and the most encounters in a single month since April of 2000, when 182,613 illegal immigrants were apprehended,” reported the New York Post.
“We’re overwhelmed,” says the Texas congressman. “We have 170,000 that we know crossed the border,” he continued. “March was a record year, as well.”
Rep. Jackson highlighted the looming consequences of uncontrolled, illegal immigration. “This is a huge burden for our country economically. It’s going to be a health care crisis for us, it’s going to be a criminal and terrorism crisis for us. … We have record numbers of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl crossing the border.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have already seized 6,494 pounds of fentanyl at the Southern border in the first four months of 2021 — more than 4,776 pounds found in all of 2020. Border agents have found 105,032 pounds of methamphetamine in 2021, compared to a little more than 177,000 pounds last year.
Despite the undeniable severity of the problem, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki has argued that “a big driver” of those negative impressions is certain, unspecified “components of social media and media these days.”
Yet border Democrats including Senators Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly, and Rep. Henry Cuellar have called the unfolding immigration issue a “crisis.”
Rep. Jackson agreed that instead of counting on a media blackout until things get better (or the administration ends), Harris needs to be part of the solution.
“She needs to get down there and they need to stop this,” Jackson added.
This week Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) challenged Biden or Harris to a public debate on the issue of border enforcement.
Even if they take Roy up on his offer, don’t count on the media to cover it.
This article has been revised to specify that Jackson’s comments were made on May 22.