The Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) had a field day Thursday in the wake of the deportation of a Mexican woman, Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, from Phoenix, Arizona. “An undocumented woman at the center of an immigration uproar has now been deported after 21 years living in the U.S., she was arrested yesterday and shipped back to Mexico today,” announced anchor Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News, “Now the family she leaves behind is voicing their outrage and pointing fingers at the president.”
CBS and NBC glorified the efforts of protesters who threw themselves in front of the government vehicles used to transport de Rayos. “Emotions erupting in front of a Phoenix ICE office. Protesters trying to stop a van … This man over here that you’re going to see, he wedged himself inside of this wheel well,” touted NBC’s, Gadi Schwartz.
According to their reports, de Rayos first got picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a raid on a water park. They discovered that she used a fake social security number in order to get hired, and was subsequently convicted of a felony.
They were all eager to praise former President Barack Obama for allowing her to stay illegally despite her status. “Well, Carter Evans found a woman caught by this order who had been allowed to remain in Phoenix under president Obama’s immigration policy,” said anchor Scott Pelley during the lead-in to Evan’s report.
And they were even happier to browbeat the current president for going through with a campaign promise. “She has been deported, and this has been one of the first victim of President Trump,” declared an “activist” to the press. “Now the family she leaves behind is voicing their outrage and pointing fingers at the president,” declared Holt. “She was allowed to stay in the U.S. because she wasn’t considered a security threat, but under new rules, President Trump has made any criminal offense criteria enough for deportation,” bemoaned Evans.
“ICE saying it was the result of a 2013 deportation order and they could continue to ‘focus on identifying and removing individuals with felony convictions,’” Schwartz mentioned (and was the only one to do so), “The family believes it’s the result of President Trump’s executive order.” But the connection Schwartz failed to make is: since she was deported by a 2013 order it means that Obama was the one behind it.
That information was not given exclusively to NBC, it was a part of a statement released to the press.
But facts mean little when you can play on the emotions of your viewers while using de Rayos’s children like props. “Next to de Rayos’ window, her two American-born children, struggling to stay strong for their mother,” Schwartz exclaimed. “14-year-old Jacqueline just wants her mom to return home,” reported Evans sorrowfully. “Behind them mothers with children. These women told us they are scared too but had to stand together,” Schwartz noted to close out his report.