NBC has yet to cover a major shift by the Obama administration that would halt deportation of illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime. According to the Washington Times, up to 300,000 cases could be impacted by this decision.
Despite ignoring the development, NBC did find time to cover the story of Boris, the 550 pound pig. Natalie Morales explained, "His owners have him on a diet and he's dropped an impressive 75 pounds."
The pig coverage appeared on Friday's Today, a program that lasts for four hours. Boris warranted more attention than the new immigration policy.
The change garnered more coverage on CBS's Evening News and Early Show. ABC's World News also mentioned it briefly.
On Friday's Evening News, John Blackstone mostly framed the development through the prism of an illegal immigrant.
He related, "Andrea Garcia was five years old when her mother brought her here illegally from Mexico. Now she's a college graduate."
The reporter sympathetically relayed, "The new policy directing immigration authorities to focus on deporting convicted criminals may mean Andrea's family can stay."
Blackstone allowed one clip of Dan Stein with the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform. He derided, "They think most immigrants are going to vote Democrat. It's pure partisan politics."
ABC wasn't much better. On Thursday's World News, Diane Sawyer briefly explained:
DIANE SAWYER: And now, news on one of America's hot button issues, illegal immigration. A major policy change was announced today. The Obama administration will stop deporting illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime in this country. Instead, offering some of the 300,000 people clogging the courts a case by case review and a chance to apply for a work permit.
Good Morning America has, thus far, ignored the story.
A transcript of the August 19 Evening News segment can be found below:
SCOTT PELLEY: The Obama administration announced a big change in immigration policy this week. Many undocumented immigrants with no criminal records will be allowed to stay in this country and apply for work permits. 300,000 cases will now be reviewed one by one. We asked John Blackstone to look into what it means.
JOHN BLACKSTONE: Andrea Garcia was five years old when her mother brought her here illegally from Mexico. Now she's a college graduate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my life, this is my culture and I am American.
BLACKSTONE: But her life in America is threatened by a pending deportation order.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was very surreal. Our lawyer calling us and saying, you know, they might come pick you guys up at 5:00 in the morning.
BLACKSTONE: The new policy directing immigration authorities to focus on deporting convicted criminals may mean Andrea`s family can stay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re just kind of floating there in limbo, we don`t know.
BLACKTONE: You still can`t relax fully about this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
BLACKSTONE: Immigrant advocates like attorney Mike Silverman says the change makes economic sense. Each deportation costs an estimated $24,000.
MIKE SILVERMAN (Attorney): Do we want to spend our money deporting and looking for janitors and college students, or do we want to focus on people who have committed serious crimes?
BLACKSTONE: Critics like Dan Stein say the administration move is not about saving money, it`s about getting votes.
DAN STEIN (Federation for American Immigration Reform): This administration is attitudinally (ph) opposed to immigration law enforcement. They think most immigrants are going to vote Democrat. It`s pure partisan politics.
BLACKSTONE: Hispanic voters have made it clear they`re unhappy with the president`s failure to achieve immigration reform. Last year, the defeat of the Dream Act disappointed thousands of young undocumented immigrants. The act would have provided a path to legalization for those brought here as children, like Andrea Garcia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just kind of like this emotional roller coaster. There`s no real, like, stability in my life, because I really don`t know what`s going to happen.
BLACKSTONE: There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants whose life in the shadows may be made easier with this policy change.