After a gunman opened fire at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, killing nine, right-wing media ignored the shooter’s reported links to right-wing extremism, instead vilifying “illegal” immigrants and bemoaning the end of Title 42.
Right-wing media outlets, especially Fox, have been fearmongering over the upcoming expiration of Title 42, a policy used widely beginning under former President Donald Trump’s administration to regulate border crossings. Right-wing figures claim that President Joe Biden’s decision to end Title 42 is “the definition of political extremism” and will result in a “mass invasion” of the U.S. by immigrants.
The shooter was reportedly wearing a patch at the time of the shooting with the acronym “RWDS,” short for “right-wing death squad,” and had been active in neo-Nazi social media circles prior to the attack. However, right-wing media figures rushed to refute the idea that he was influenced by extremist ideologies, instead attempting to tie the shooting to the existing fear campaign over the border:
- Fox & Friends co-host Will Cain speculated on the shooter’s place of origin, stating, “It's being reported that the shooter is not from our community. … I doubt it means a neighboring suburb. It is most likely -- who knows, it could mean anything including — as we saw, this would be speculation, but we saw a week ago that an illegal immigrant who'd been deported four times in Cleveland, Texas, had killed an entire — not an entire, but the majority of a family, tragically including a child. And so there will be much more to learn.” Cain then introduced the next segment by saying, “Speaking of illegal immigration … .”
- Fox News host Shannon Bream introduced the Allen shooting by linking it to a recent Cleveland, Texas, shooting by a shooter with unclear immigration status and the end of Title 42, saying, “We begin with that breaking news out of Texas. At least eight people killed after authorities say a gunman opened fire at an outlet mall. … It all comes just over a week since a different gunman killed five people execution-style in a home in Cleveland, Texas. And it comes as Texas has been preparing for the expected end of Title 42 restrictions at the border this week.”
- In a segment dedicated to debunking the claim that the shooter was a white supremacist, Louder with Crowder host Steven Crowder stated that the idea “doesn’t pass the sniff test” since the shooter “left the Black and Hispanic area of Dallas to go shoot up a white area of town — a very white area of town, comparatively — in order to inflict a white supremacist massacre. By the way, he’s also not white.”
- Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk tweeted an image of the Allen shooter, along with two other nonwhite alleged mass murderers from Texas, with the caption “Here are Texas’ three recent mass murderers. So much white supremacy happening here, it’s hard to fathom. In completely unrelated news, Joe Biden is getting rid of Title 42 on Thursday and 700,000 illegals are expected to rush the border.”
- Failed Senate candidate and Proud Boys supporter Lauren Witzke baselessly claimed in a tweet that “they are refusing to release the name of the Allen, Texas Shooter only because he’s Hispanic” before adding: “The consequences of mass immigration are dead Americans.”
- Co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show Buck Sexton, who has a history of fearmongering over migrants, rejected the reporting on the shooter’s online activity, tweeting, “Mauricio Garcia- who is Hispanic and whose immigrant parents needed a translator to speak to the FBI- is being reported on as a mass murderer with ‘white supremacist’ beliefs.”
- Censored.TV host Isabella Riley Moody stated in a tweet that the shooter was “a Hispanic gang member” before declaring that “Biden’s Border is killing people.”