NowThis News criticized the Trump administration for its crackdown on “sanctuary laws” and state-based immigration laws without providing specific examples about the pros and cons of lax immigration laws and policies.
The Trump administration, led by U.S. Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice, is suing state and local governments in Washington state and New Jersey for “sanctuary laws,” which laws limit federal authority over immigration enforcement.
The article headlined the Department of Justice as the aggressor, “Department of Justice Suing Washington State, New Jersey Over “Sanctuary Laws,” which headline was reflected in the article’s text. Although the website treated quotes fairly, quoting U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s statement as well as authorities from New Jersey and King County, Washington, it did not provide enough context for the Trump administration’s “crackdown” on immigration laws.
For example, NowThis News could have cited examples of undocumented immigrants committing crimes, being detained by local authorities, then local authorities releasing them without handing them over to federal immigration authorities for processing. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) published a statement about his state’s “sanctuary policies,” where North Carolina jails released nearly 500 undocumented immigrants “after local sheriffs refused to comply with detainer requests made by ICE.” Tillis added, “These North Carolina counties are releasing illegal immigrants charged with violent crimes like rape and murder without even notifying federal officials, jeopardizing public safety.”
NowThis News ignored public safety concerns and focused on the Trump administration’s lawsuits. It said that the Trump administration consistently “threatened ‘sanctuary cities’ through moves like funding withdrawal.” The website also detailed other administration moves, such as the 2017 travel ban and a 2018 lawsuit against three California immigration laws.
NowThis News criticized the Department of Justice for suing “sanctuary laws,” but it did not fairly portray the views of proponents who want to reassert federal immigration enforcement authority. Instead, the website offered a biased perspective on immigration without providing adequate context about the factors affecting federal, state, and local immigration enforcement.