Right-Wing Media's Xenophobic Rhetoric Echoed In Murrieta Protests

The racially charged and conspiratorial rhetoric protesters spewed at child migrants on their way to temporary housing in Murrieta, California, closely mirrored some of conservative media's favorite xenophobic talking points.

In the first week of July, hundreds of protesters gathered in Murrieta to voice opposition to the planned housing of migrant detainees at the federal Border Patrol station in the city, blocking buses and forcing them to return to the Border Patrol station in San Diego. The buses contained unaccompanied minors and women with children, awaiting deportation proceedings after crossing the U.S. border in Texas to flee violence in Central America.

These protests, along with a preceding Murrieta town hall on July 3, were full of invective -- protesters charged that the "illegal aliens" carried dangerous diseases and were possibly members of gangs and drug cartels. The crowds demanded that the government simply send the children backscreaming chants of “go home” and “U.S.A.”

The protestors were so full of vitriol that immigration officials rerouted the migrants' buses to San Diego, citing safety concerns for the women and children aboard.

Yet the same heated rhetoric is perpetuated by the right-wing media, whose xenophobic reporting has worked to dehumanize the child migrants with conspiracy theories and falsehoods

Media Matters for America researcher Lis Power contributed to this post.