CNN Breakdown: What Closes under Trump, Opens Under Biden


Facility at Carrizo, TX… Picture via Texas Tribune

In my ongoing series of exposing the bias in the media, I found something truly, how do I word this, opportunistic. Immigration under Trump was always one of the main points of demonization regardless of the policies in place before he took office or who implemented them. In this post, we will take a look at the story of a facility that had to close under Trump,  but is being reopened under Biden, and all of it worded by CNN correspondents.

Carrizo Springs, TX Facility: A History Lesson

First we will talk about the facility in question and the time in which it was leased, for you see it was already being used as housing for oil field workers. The HHS signed a lease for its use, a lease that was to last for five years and cost $8.8 million.

This facility was brought into fruition during the time of the caravans coming from Central America. This would be in 2019.

More and more migrants were coming to our southern border and being placed in holding facilities, overflowing the facilities and taxing the workers there. At one time, there was reported to be 100 migrants per worker who was trying to process the asylum papers.

Naturally, this gave birth to overcrowded conditions, poor accommodations, and in some cases, the mingling of non-COVID infected with infected migrants. The Carrizo Springs facility was opened July 2, 2019. 
It was designed to hold children until background and DNA checks could be done on the adults with whom they crossed the border. Realistically, this made sense. When you factor in coyotes and child traffickers, you need to make sure of paternal and maternal links. Less than a month later, it was closing.

One of the main speculated reasons for this was cost. The 1,600 bed facility cost anywhere from $750-$800 per child daily to maintain.
A second one was that the number of migrants arriving at the border was decreasing and the number of asylum cases being processed was increasing, leading to the facility being too little, too late.
A third reason was pressure from advocacy groups and Amnesty International who contended the crisis at the border was fabricated.
A little reported reason was that the air conditioning system was not working properly and needed to be scrubbed clean of the mold that was found.
So, on July 23. 2019, it was closed. 

Now that the history lesson is out of the way, let’s move on to the comparison.

Now for the headlines

This is dated July 7, 2019. They mention it being Trump’s plan to open the Carrizo Facility, and then they add this…

As we all remember, Trump proposed cuts, which were granted, cuts to the budget which included the above. So, no issue there. What’s funny about this is that I did a search on CNN’s website to see if I could find any reporting on the closure of the facility, which happened on July 23. I couldn’t find one.

I even searched an archive.

You would think with as concerned as they were with how the children were being treated, they would keep an eye on the facility and report its closure. That would be news-worthy, right? I found this interesting, to say the least.


We now fast forward to present day.

Not RE-open, open. One would think that maybe it’s a different reporter, and that is why there is no mention of a closure or that Carrizo is reopening. Let me give you those same headlines again, this time with the bylines.

Saying he is “Opening” a facility would mean he had funds allocated to have one either built from scratch, refurbished, or repurposed. Since it’s too early in his administration, the first option would be out, leaving the other two. One could argue that anything that is not built from the ground up is a reopening of that facility. Yes, it would, if you take into consideration the Carrizo facility used to house oil field workers before it was opened to house unaccompanied minors, but that would be splitting hairs.

Saying he is re-opening the facility takes on a whole new meaning. It means the building was already there for that purpose and sit dormant. You can’t, in good faith, give credit for opening something that was already opened and then closed, or can you?


It is my opinion, that is was worded knowing that much of the public doesn’t read past the headline, and if they did, they wouldn’t make it to the second paragraph. This isn’t inaccurate reporting per se. It is carefully worded reporting to paint Biden’s administration in a good light and to hope that no one reads past the first line. Many outlets do this.

Do they mention Trump? Yes, but like this…

They don’t expound on this, but again, link to one of their own articles, which makes my eye twitch. They could have linked to the policy. That would have been a better source.


Sources for post:

Texas Tribune for the background story on the facility

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/06/politics/hhs-unaccompanied-migrant-children-facility/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/politics/migrant-children-facility-immigration/index.html



Categories: Breakdowns

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