On Tuesday's edition of Fox News' America Live, guest host Martha McCallum used news that President Obama was conducting a meeting on immigration reform as a hook to fearmonger over immigration and downplay the Obama administration's efforts to secure the border.
MacCallum hosted Arizona rancher Jim Chilton and repeatedly asked Chilton leading questions about whether the Obama administration was really securing the border. For instance, MacCallum asked: "You hear from Janet Napolitano -- she claims that the border is safer than it's been in a long time sir in terms of the resources that they've put down there. What do you say to her?" She also asked at one point: "Do you feel like you're surrounded?"
At the same time, Fox News aired misleading Fox News "Fox Facts" such as "apprehensions were down 36% over the past 2 years."
At no time did Fox News note that, as the Associated Press stated in June 2010, "the US-Mexico border is more fortified now than it was even five years ago."
Here's a taste of the discussion from America Live:
MACCALLUM (host): You hear from Janet Napolitano -- she claims that the border is safer than it's been in a long time sir in terms of the resources that they've put down there. What do you say to her?
CHILTON (guest): In ways it is safer particularly where they've put up walls near cities like El Paso and Nogales. It is safer there. But what's happened is that drug traffic, the cartels, the people smugglers have moved, in our case west. And it's much more organized now. The cartels now run everything I'm told by the border patrol. The cartels are the ones that bring people into the country as people smugglers and they are forcing them to bring drugs.
In addition to the AP, The Arizona Republic has reported that the number of border patrol agents has and continues to increase under Obama. In 2010, there were more than 16,000 border patrol agents on the southwestern border of the United States, more "than ever before in the history of the country." However, this did not stop McCallum:
MARTHA MACCALLUM (host): What you hear from Washington is that what you're saying is happening, you know, basically isn't happening. They're contradicting you. They're saying that the drug war violence happens on the other side of the border. That it doesn't happen here and that the increased border protection that has been sent to that area has made a difference. So this must be extremely frustrating for you to say the very least.
Again, Mccallum failed to acknowledge the difference the increased funding and forces has made under the Obama administration. The seizure of drugs and weapons increased as did deportations which reached a record high in fiscal year 2010.
Regarding the "Fox Fact" that "Apprehensions down 36% over the last year," Fox failed to mention the reason for the decrease in apprehensions. In 2009 the number of immigrants illegally crossing the border into the United States fell. Researchers "cited the recession and tougher border enforcement" as reasons for the decrease.
So, rather than use the White House immigration meeting to engage in a serious discussion over immigration issues, Fox News chose to scare its viewers and misinform them about what the Obama administration has done.