San Fran Chronicle Spreads False Immigration Raids Story

By: Warner Todd Huston

The San Francisco Chronicle and the various demagog politicians of Berkeley and Oakland, California should really be ashamed of themselves for ginning up into sensational “raids” a few arrests by ICE agents and making of them actions designed to empty those community’s schools of children. In reality a few routine U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations in those cities occurred yesterday that had nothing to do with school children. Yet, these politicians shamelessly ran about the countryside waving their arms, serving grave warnings to ICE about their supposed targeting of school children, and ginning up parents with the false bravado of standing athwart ICE’s “harassment and fear.” But, with all the running about like Chicken Little claiming the ICE is falling, no raids either occurred or were even planned. To top it off, the San Francisco Chronicle reports the incident as the “fear across the communities” being “real” instead of correctly noting that these pandering pols in office made much ado about nothing just to inflate their own importance.

Apparently ICE made a few arrests at some homes in Berkeley and Oakland and that somehow sent a “wave of panic among parents” who were fooled into believing that ICE officers were about to raid all the schools in the area to snap up illegals for deportation.

The SFChron reports that “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were in both cities Tuesday, performing routine fugitive operations,” and that “officers arrested four family members at a Berkeley home and a woman at an Oakland residence.” Helpfully, the Chronicle lets us know that “they were not at schools.”

Virginia Kice, a spokesman for ICE, said that these operations happen nearly everyday, they are that common, and that there has never been any plan to raid a school. She informed the Chronicle that, “a school is not a place we would routinely conduct an enforcement operation for a variety of reasons.”

But this reality, this checkable fact of ICE operations, wasn’t going to stop Berkeley and Oakland’s pandering politicians from making political hay out of thin air, no siree.

As the Chron dutifully reports, the politicians and school officials went into high gear to make it look like they were bravely facing the mean Federal government and their “harassment” of school children.

In Berkeley, school district Superintendent Bill Huyet sent out an automated phone message to all parents notifying them that a Latino family had been picked up and assuring them that the district would “not allow any child to be taken away from the school.”

Not to be outdone by any lowly school administrators, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums acted the part of Joan of Arc to assure his constituents that he was on the case appearing like the savior from on high at local Stonehurst Elementary School. He warned everyone that if ICE “returned” he’d be ready to smite the evil doers.

“In my view, that is the ugly side of government,” Dellums said. “No way children should ever be treated to that kind of harassment and fear.” He said police officers will be posted at the campus Wednesday to ensure that federal immigration officials don’t come onto school grounds. He added that federal officials have assured him they will not be at schools.

Our hero. But there is one tiny-weenie problem with Dellums’ bravado. ICE agents never went to the school in the first place. So, “return” they could not. School officials can be blamed for this tosh, though. Early in the day, Stonehurst officials reported that ICE agents had been at the school only to say in later reports that it was not so. It appears they changed their story to say that ICE vans “had been seen” near the school, a far cry from raids being conducted among the children.

Checks with ICE and Federal agents confirmed that no raids were planned nor had they occurred. But don’t imagine truth could stop a politician from his righteous indignation as the Chronicle reported that “still, state Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, got involved.”

“There should be an immediate freeze on ICE raids directed at schoolchildren while legislation aiming to fix immigration is considered,” he said in a statement. Later, immigration advocates said they believed ICE vans were circling schools and intimidating the community, noting that ICE officers accompanied a mother onto an Oakland school campus in December before questioning her in a workplace investigation.

THERE OUTTA BE A LAW! Yeah, Donnie, I agree. There outta be a law against liars in office like you with your stern pronouncements on things that never happened and your brave assurances that you’ll prevent it from happening “again.”

But the SFChron gravely assures us that despite the fact that the politicians were making up ICE raids out of whole cloth and using these nonexistent raids as platforms from which to expound on their grave concerns, there was “real” fear out there.

The fear across the communities, however, was real. “People are terrified,” said Berkeley Unified spokesman Mark Coplan. “There is a lot of speculation.”

Yeah, real “fear” based on the lies of pandering politicians and the screaming mimis in the press looking for a sensational story. Let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story or a fine political campaign, eh?
And then the Chronicle gave us the Pièce de résistance, using the kids as fodder for their campaign against our immigration laws.

Larry Bensky’s fifth grade daughter came home from Berkeley’s LeConte Elementary School on Tuesday saying she had no homework because it was “ICE week,” which meant “they” were going after the families of the Latino children.

“She doesn’t know what ICE is,” Bensky said. “She doesn’t know what targeted is. You can imagine it’s very disturbing for children that from one day to the next that a child they sit next to could be kidnapped, arrested and deported.”

Ah, it’s all about the kids, isn’t it?

If you ask me, it isn’t such a bad thing if criminal aliens have a healthy fear of being deported, anyway. Maybe it will spur them to just go home?

In any case, what we have here is the San Francisco Chronicle plainly seeing that these politicians are making a mountain of a mole’s hill and instead of calling these pandering fools on their perfidy the Chron has legitimized it as “real fear.”

Yes, Berkeley, Oakland and the San Francisco Chronicle should be ashamed of themselves.

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