Fox News is furious that immigrants are being advised of their rights ahead of planned ICE raids

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Following news that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is preparing to arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants this weekend, leading Democrats responded by sharing information about immigrants’ legal rights when contacted by ICE. Fox News responded by furiously attacking Democratic leaders and accusing them of interfering with law enforcement or even putting ICE agents in potential danger.

On July 11, The New York Times reported that “nationwide raids to arrest thousands of members of undocumented families have been scheduled to begin Sunday.” ICE reportedly plans “to deport the families as quickly as possible,” and the raids will also include “collateral” deportations in which agents may “detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.” Officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said that “the Trump administration’s goal is to use the operation as a show of force to deter families from approaching the southwestern border.”

Top Democrats have responded by sharing information about the legal rights that immigrants have when approached by ICE as part of the party’s “know your rights” campaign. During a press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) shared information regarding the differences between search warrants that are signed by a judge and the administrative warrants used by ICE. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) -- Fox’s new favorite target -- shared a video from the National Immigration Law Center with information for immigrants who are undocumented or have undocumented family members. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted a graphic written in both English and Spanish outlining what immigrants can do if they are approached by ICE this weekend.

In addition to these Democratic leaders, lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, immigration attorneys, and other immigration advocates have also shared information about legal protections for immigrants.

Fox News has responded with vitriol, berating Democrats for supposedly encouraging lawbreaking by sharing information about immigrants’ rights.

On Fox & Friends, guest co-host Griff Jenkins claimed that “the Democrats are putting themselves in a unique position of running against the rule of law.” Co-host Steve Doocy criticized Democratic lawmakers for “telling the people who might get a knock on the door over the weekend what to do if ICE shows up” instead of writing legislation. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/12/19]

Later in the same show, Fox & Friends hosted National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, who said that he is “amazed” that Clinton “is now actively helping people avoid justice.” Judd berated her for “helping them to continue to break the laws” and suggested that the United States will “become like Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras” if the U.S. “stops enforcing the laws,” saying that “we’re trying to turn just like that.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/12/19]

On America’s Newsroom, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley expressed shock that “so many on the left want to tip off” undocumented immigrants. He then compared it to telling a “crack dealer, ‘Hey, heads up, man’” ahead of a police raid. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 7/12/19]

On Your World, guest co-host Charles Payne asked, “Just how much risk does tipping off possible raids put our law enforcement in?” Payne said that “it’s dangerous stuff” and “Pelosi is going out on a limb” by telling immigrants what to do if approached by ICE. [Fox News, Your World, 7/11/19]

On Lou Dobbs Tonight, guest host David Asman criticized Pelosi for giving “instructions ... for people who are breaking the law about how to get around the law.” Guest Judd insisted that “the only reason that she is doing this is because she is absolutely anti-President Trump” and said Pelosi is “coaching people on how they can avoid the law and the due process that exists in the law.” Asman expressed concern that Pelosi is sharing legal information with undocumented immigrants while she “is third in line to the presidency” and “sworn to uphold the constitution.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 7/11/19]

On Outnumbered, co-host Katie Pavlich claimed that immigrants targeted by the upcoming raids have “had their day in court, and yet now Democrats are advocating for them to continue breaking the law by not answering the door when ICE agents show up.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 7/12/19]