This week I am going to start by excerpting several old news accounts.


2016 – U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found to have entered the country illegally, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters.

The operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.

…The planned new raids are in response to a renewed surge of illegal entries by Central American women traveling with their children.


2016 – One of the key tactics used by both the Bush and Obama administrations was the immigration raid. Often, under Obama in particular, targeted “surges” were used to track down individuals who met enforcement priorities: immigrants who’d been convicted of crimes, immigration “fugitives” who had already been given orders of deportation or people who’d been deported and re-entered the United States. In Obama’s last year in office, ICE conducted 18 “surges” (according to press releases on the agency’s site). In the biggest, a month-long sweep of several Midwestern states, it arrested 331 people. A Los Angeles raid netted 112 immigrants in a week.


2015 – Obama expands ICE powers to pursue illegal immigrants for deportation, angers activists.

The Obama administration has created a tool to push local authorities to hold illegal immigrants for eventual deportation even when they don’t match the top priorities the president laid out last year, in a move both sides of the immigration debate say is proof that his deportation amnesty is falling short.

Dubbed the I-247X, the detainer request form gives Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents the power to ask local police to hold illegal immigrants for pickup even if they don’t have serious criminal records or ties to terrorism.


2010 – Production resumed Wednesday at a manufacturing plant in Fullerton (Calif.) after an immigration raid that resulted in the arrests of 43 workers and the temporary shutdown of the facility.

Employers at Terra Universal Inc., which produces equipment for semiconductor and pharmaceutical manufacturers, spent the day reassuring customers, checking employees’ documents and questioning why they were targeted, according to the company’s attorney.

Chief Operating Officer Ken Harms said the raid took him by surprise and disrupted the entire plant. “It was completely unexpected,” he said.

There are tons more of these stories going back decades.

One of the largest immigration raids in history was during the Bush administration on May 12, 2008, at a packing plant in Postville, Iowa.

That day, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement deployed 900 agents and arrested 398 employees, 98% of whom were indigenous Mayans. According to reports at the time, "agents used presumed race/ethnicity to identify suspected undocumented immigrants, allegedly handcuffing all employees assumed to be Latino until their immigration status was verified.”

I seem to remember immigration raids at factories in Syracuse and Elkhart County back in the 1990s.

My point here is not really about immigration. It’s about journalism and what has become of it in the Trump era.

At the time of these previous raids, media gave them a passing glance. I would be willing to bet 99% of people reading this had never even heard of the Postville, Iowa, immigration raid.

But you all heard about the raid in Mississippi didn’t you? You know, the one where “children were ripped from their parents’ arms.”

There were no headlines like, “ICE raids in Mississippi leave family shaken” or “It’s not easy to lose a family member” or “That heartless Mississippi ICE raid also revealed the cruelty behind modern U.S. capitalism.”

To the contrary, the vast majority of news coverage regarding previous ICE raids were matter of fact. Well, yeah, those people were here illegally and they got arrested for it.

Ho hum.

Several outlets even took the angle that the companies deserved what they got: “Slaughterhouse in Iowa took advantage of child labor” was one headline.

What is so troubling to me about all this is that mainstream media has become so agenda driven that it has completely lost sight of any semblance of objectivity. It’s “get President Donald Trump” 100% of the time.

I am not here to defend Trump. It’s not that he doesn’t deserve heaping amounts of criticism. He makes stuff up as he goes along. He completely misrepresents facts. He straight-up lies about policies. He belittles and berates allies. He flip-flops more than an 8-year-old on the trampoline he just got for his birthday.

Even so, the media must be objective to be credible. The media must stay above the politics of it all. The media shouldn’t take sides.

If an immigration raid during the Bush or Obama years didn’t merit wall-to-wall coverage with microphones thrust in the faces of sobbing children whose parents were arrested, then neither did a Trump immigration raid.

Even if Trump has done more raids or bigger raids, the double standard is jarring. Previous administrations got a pass.

I was listening to CNN on the radio for an hour or so earlier this week driving to and from Syracuse to work. There was a constant drumbeat of analysts virtually egging on a recession. Why? Because they know that will hurt Trump’s re-election chances.

Heck, Bill Maher straight up said he was hoping for a recession:

“I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point," Maher said. "By the way, I'm hoping for it because one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy. So please, bring on the recession."

He was asked about that comment later and doubled down, “Yes, a recession would be very worth getting rid of Donald Trump and these kinds of policies.”

Sure, Bill, you don’t care if there’s a recession. You’re a millionaire talk show host. Ask people in Elkhart County what it was like when unemployment in their county reached nearly 20%.

What an asinine thing to say.

Maher is just a talking head, but – unbelievably – that’s the position most of the media has taken, too. Ruin Trump at all costs, even if it means trying to gin up an economic downturn ahead of the next election.

It’s unprecedented. And it’s tragic.

When it comes to credibility, I am really afraid journalism at the national level is past the point of no return.