Sunday Morning Shows Ignore Report Showing Obama Admin. ‘Warned of Brewing Border Crisis’

The front-page of the Washington Post on Sunday, July 20 had a damning headline accusing the Obama administration of “being warned of brewing border crisis” but only Fox and Friends Sunday covered the report. 

NBC’s Today, CBS Sunday Morning, and ABC’s Good Morning America, failed to cover how in a 2013 report prepared for the Obama administration “the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse.”

From the Washington Post:

The researchers’ observations were among the warning signs conveyed to the Obama administration over the past two years as a surge of Central American minors has crossed into south Texas illegally. More than 57,000 have entered the United States this year, swamping federal resources and catching the government unprepared.

The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials, outside experts and immigrant advocates, leading to an inadequate response that contributed to this summer’s escalating crisis.

Federal officials viewed the situation as a “local problem,” said Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief who led the UTEP study. The research, conducted last year, was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and published in March. A broader crisis was “not on anyone’s radar,” Manjarrez added, even though “it was pretty clear this number of kids was going to be the new baseline.

According to reporters David Nakamura, Jerry Markon, and Manuel Roig Franzia: 

The former official said the agencies primarily in charge of border security, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were “ringing alarm bells” within the administration.

Meanwhile, top officials focused much of their attention on political battles, such as Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and the push to win congressional support for a broad immigration overhaul, that would have been made more difficult with the addition of a high-profile border crisis.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report was the only person on the Sunday talk shows to reference the Washington Post report:

What also makes it complicated, and there was a big story in the “Washington Post” today about this is that the administration actually has known about this for quite sometime. And I think that's where the frustration continues to bubble over with the president's handling of this. Which is, if you knew about this in the middle, but we’re in the middle of a campaign and we’re in the middle of trying to pass comprehensive reform, can we trust that you’re going to be able to handle this now? 

CBS's Face the Nation, ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulous, CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and Fox News Sunday w/ Chris Wallace have yet to cover the Post's reporting. Only time will tell if the media will report on the fact that the Obama Administration has known for the past year that the crisis on our southern border was only going to escalate as time progressed but failed to take appropriate action. 

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