ABC, NBC Fail To Use The Term ‘Illegal’ In Story On Illegal Immigrants Being Bused Across Country

On Tuesday, July 1, all three network evening newscasts hyped a protest in Murrieta, California where residents objected to busloads of illegal immigrants being sent to their town to be processed by border patrol agents.

While all three networks covered the story, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley actually called the 140 passengers “illegal immigrants” with ABC and NBC choosing to call them “migrants” and “undocumented immigrants” respectively. [See video below.]

Even though CBS was the only network to use the term “illegal” in its report, all three networks ignored any reference to how President Obama’s confusing signals and comments on the border crisis may have contributed to the surge in illegal border crossings.  

CBS News anchor Scott Pelley introduced the story by detailing the confrontation between residents in California and illegal immigrants attempting to enter their town:

This evening in San Diego, a wall of protesters turned away three bus loads of illegal immigrants. Parents with their children. The federal government was transferring them from Texas. There has been a surge of illegal immigrants recently and apparently some folks in San Diego have had enough. 

However, when Pelley turned to CBS reporter John Blackstone for the full story, he immediately failed to use the term “illegal immigrant” in his report. Instead, he called them “migrants” and “undocumented immigrants.” In the report, the CBS reporter hyped the standoff between the residents of Murrieta and the buses full of illegal immigrants: 

Residents here have been resisting plans to have the migrants brought here for processing and health checks. The bus windows were blocked but the shouts made it clear to those on board they are not welcome here. 

Over on ABC, anchor David Muir only provided a news brief on the protests, and failed to identify the busload of immigrants as being illegal: 

We’ve reported here on the overwhelming number of immigrants, especially children pouring into the country, many without their parents. Today, flag-waving protestors turned them away from an immigration processing center in Southern California. Residents there are so angry they’re being processed there the buses were forced to move on after they blocked them. We have not been told tonight where the passengers on the bus were taken instead.

Finally, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams also refused to use the term “illegal immigrants” when he introduced a full story on the protests. Instead, Williams commented how “more than 100 undocumented migrant children and their parents were flown from Texas to southern California today, in the latest chapter of what has become an overwhelming border crisis in this country.”

Reporter Miguel Almaguer continued to sidestep the illegality of those entering this country:

At this hour, 140 undocumented immigrants from Central America have been diverted from this facility...This was expected to be the first of several waves of immigrants coming to this facility, now it's unclear where those buses will go, and what those futures have for those immigrants who were on board.  

NBC's Brian Williams concluded the segment by condescendingly criticizing the protestors by proclaiming “an awful scene there” in Murrieta, California. 

 

See relevant transcripts below. 


ABC

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

July 1, 2014

DAVID MUIR: And now to a developing story along America's southern border. We’ve reported here on the overwhelming number of immigrants, especially children pouring into the country, many without their parents. Today, flag-waving protestors turned them away from an immigration processing center in Southern California. Residents there are so angry they’re being processed there the buses were forced to move on after they blocked them. We have not been told tonight where the passengers on the bus were taken instead

 

CBS

CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley 

July 1, 2014 

SCOTT PELLEY: This evening in San Diego, a wall of protesters turned away three bus loads of illegal immigrants. Parents with their children. The federal government was transferring them from Texas. There has been a surge of illegal immigrants recently and apparently some folks in San Diego have had enough. John Blackstone is following this.

JOHN BLACKSTONE: The charter aircraft from Texas landed at San Diego carrying 140 undocumented immigrants many of them children. They boarded buses for a one hour drive to Murrieta, California. In Murrieta demonstrators blocked the road leading to the border patrol station. Residents here have been resisting plans to have the migrants brought here for processing and health checks. The bus windows were blocked but the shouts made it clear to those on board they are not welcome here. Alan Long is mayor of Murrieta. 

ALAN LONG: We have droves of immigrants coming and nothing in place to really prevent that. What's happening now is that they're basically dispersing them to many different backyards and I think there are people and residents here in Murrieta that are ready to take a stand against that. 

BLACKSTONE: The nearly 50,000 unaccompanied children who poured over the Texas border are being held in crowded facilities as authorities try to find family members in the U.S. to care for them. Since most come from Central America, they cannot simply be put on buses and sent back across the border to Mexico. Enrique Morones president of the immigrant aid organization Border Angels wants more done to discourage parents from sending their children on the dangerous trek north. Isn’t the way to send a message by sending them back to say look it's no good coming there you’ll just get sent back again. 

ENRIQUE MORONES: We can't send back the kids that are here, the overwhelming majority of the kids that are here because it's sheer death and we don't want to sacrifice anybody. 

BLACKSTONE: After an hour long standoff with the protesters here the buses turned around and left, Scott. The immigrants will now be taken to another border patrol station in the San Diego area for processing. 

PELLEY: John Blackstone. Thank you, John.

 

NBC

NBC Nightly News 

July 1, 2014 

BRIAN WILLIAMS: More than 100 undocumented migrant children and their parents were flown from Texas to southern California today, in the latest chapter of what has become an overwhelming border crisis in this country. NBC's Miguel Almaguer is back in Murrieta, California tonight, not far from San Diego. Miguel, good evening. 

MIGUEL ALMAGUER: Brian, good evening. At this hour, 140 undocumented immigrants from Central America have been diverted from this facility. They were supposed to be processed here and released but the buses they were on have been turned around, this was the scene earlier today at Lindbergh Field in San Diego. One by one, many mothers carrying their babies were flanked by border patrol officers as they boarded buses for the one hour drive to Murrieta.

Here they were greeted by angry protesters, furious they say  by what they call refugees being bused into their small cities. They blocked streets, waived flags and squared off with immigration advocates as tempers flared. Police stood between buses and protesters as the vehicles turned around, headed back on a freeway toward San Diego. This was expected to be the first of several waves of immigrants coming to this facility, now it's unclear where those buses will go, and what those futures have for those immigrants who were on board. Brian? 

WILLIAMS: An awful scene there, Miguel Almaguer, Murrieta, California tonight. Miguel, thanks.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.