ABC Addresses Outcry Against Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants

“We're going to take 'A Closer Look' now at how a brutal triple murder in New Jersey is fueling the outcry across the country against illegal immigrants,” fill-in ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas announced Tuesday night in setting up a look at a problem largely avoided by the mainstream media. Reminding viewers of “the senseless shootings of three college students in the city of Newark,” Vargas related how “two of the suspects were in this country illegally. And some are saying it's a crime that would never have occurred if immigration laws were enforced.”

Reporter Jake Tapper explained in his World News piece that “their presence in Newark, a city hospitable to illegal immigrants, what conservatives are calling a 'sanctuary city,' is now part of the debate over illegal immigration.” After soundbites from Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo and Newt Gingrich castigating the city for not enforcing immigration laws, Tapper noted how there's “a rising hostility to illegal immigrants, not just among conservatives, but in the inner city.” To illustrate, Tapper ran soundbites from three people on the street who all argued for a crackdown on illegals, before he concluded with a nod to the other side and why that view doesn't matter: “Liberal immigration activists argue that illegal immigrants do not commit violent crimes more than any other group. But for many in mourning here in Newark, two illegal immigrants may have been two too many.”

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video for the August 21 World News story:
ELIZABETH VARGAS: We're going to take "A Closer Look" now at how a brutal triple murder in New Jersey is fueling the outcry across the country against illegal immigrants. We've told you about the killings, the senseless shootings of three college students in the city of Newark. It turns out that two of the suspects were in this country illegally. And some are saying it's a crime that would never have occurred if immigration laws were enforced. Jake Tapper has the story.

JAKE TAPPER: An illegal immigrant from Honduras, Melvin Jovel, was arraigned this morning for the shocking execution-style killings of three promising college students in Newark, New Jersey, this month. Jovel joins others in custody for the crimes, including fellow illegal immigrant Jose Carranza from Peru, who's been arrested twice before. Their presence in Newark, a city hospitable to illegal immigrants, what conservatives are calling a "sanctuary city," is now part of the debate over illegal immigration.

Rep. TOM TANCREDO (R-CO): Newark and its political leadership share a degree of culpability. Their actions have directly contributed to the deaths of these three promising young American kids.

NEWT GINGRICH: There is no excuse for city, county and state governments to not have a rule that when you pick up somebody for a felony, you automatically check to see if they're here legally of if, in fact, they are illegally in the United States.

TAPPER: Newark prosecutors say federal immigration authorities told them in writing to only alert them about illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a felony. Carranza had been twice arrested for violent crimes, but not yet convicted of anything. Beyond the finger-pointing is a rising hostility to illegal immigrants, not just among conservatives, but in the inner city.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: They should stop illegal people from coming over here. They're trying to make it legal for them to come over here, and they shouldn't be, because they can't even really keep track of these people. And they're going out here committing all types of crimes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The federal government will do what they want to do, all right? And we end up wearing the weight.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: They should stop letting them in illegally. And when they commit a crime, they should do something about it, all right? Don't let them in. Send them back.

TAPPER: Liberal immigration activists argue that illegal immigrants do not commit violent crimes more than any other group. But for many in mourning here in Newark, two illegal immigrants may have been two too many. Jake Tapper, ABC News, Newark, New Jersey.
The longer, online, version of Tapper's report as posted on ABCNews.com.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center