Geraldo Rivera, in a Fox News interview about the migrants moving north from Central America and about the rape statistics of women who cross the border illegally, called the situation “manufactured” and characterized it as hardly a crisis.
That, despite 2014 media reports from even left-leaning rags that show mass numbers of females are raped while crossing into the United States.
Not a good look for Rivera — for any guy, for that matter — to seemingly shrug off statistics involving rape.
But here’s how the discussion thread unwound: Rivera was discussing the 1,000-strong migrant caravan that had been making its way north from Central America — some of whom had planned to jump across into the United States.
Don’t believe that? Even CNN noted in a headline: “Caravan won’t end in Mexico. Some migrants will risk trip to U.S. border.”
Fox host Sean Hannity the spoke of the danger of immigrants who’ve “crossed the border, the weak borders and raped Americans” — a sentiment that echoed what President Donald Trump has said in recent days about women who make this journey being “raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before.”
Trump has also tweeted about the movement of these Central Americans toward America, and warned on the border crisis that seemed to loom.
On Twitter, he wrote: “Mexico has the absolute power not to let these large ‘Caravans’ of people enter their country. They must stop them at their Northern Border, which they can do because their border laws work …”
And this: “Honduras, Mexico and many other countries that the U.S. is very generous to, sends many of their people t our country through our WEAK IMMIGRATION POLICIES. Caravans are heading here …”
And this: “The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our ‘Weak Laws’ Border, had better be stopped before it gets there …”
Rivera, in context of responding to Hannity’s talk of border rapes — a report that, as Tucker Carlson of Fox News found, even the Huffington Post wrote of in 2014 with a headline that blasted, “80% Of Central American Women, Girls Are Raped Crossing Into The U.S.” — said this: The whole immigration-is-a-crisis thing is just crazy talk.
“This immigrant crisis is manufactured,” he said, according to Mediaite. “I think it’s an overreaction to the so-called caravan of 1,000 that is now broken up in the southern city around Puebla. They are seeking asylum.”
He then doubled down.
“I say it with absolute certainty,” he said. “Illegal immigration across the southern border is near 46-year lows. We had a spike in March, probably having to do with the demand for agricultural workers.”
But truth is: Just this January, the Center for Immigration Studies wrote a piece titled, “Non-Citizens Committed a Disproportionate Share of Federal Crimes, 2011-16.”
The story plug stated “21% of those convicted of non-immigration crimes were non-citizens — 2.5 times their share of the population.”
You know what that means?
It means that illegal immigration is very much still a problem in America — dare say, at least for the victims of those crimes, a real crisis situation.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.