Fox News cuts off interviewing migrants on buses as reporter can’t speak Spanish

Republican governors have been sending migrants to Democratic enclaves this week

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Friday 16 September 2022 00:40 BST
2 buses of migrants arrive outside VP Harris’s residence in DC: FOX News
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A Fox News reporter admitted he wasn’t able to fully translate comments in Spanish as he interviewed a group of mostly Venezuelan migrants who were bused outside of vice-president Kamala Harris’s residence in Washington, DC, by Texas governor Greg Abbott on Thursday.

During a live televised segment about the migrants, Fox News national correspondent Griff Jenkins approached a man in a green shirt exiting the bus and asked if he spoke English.

“No, my friend,” he replied in Spanish

“Everybody from —todos — Venezuela?” the reporter continued, in a halting mix of English and Spanish.

“Yes, basically [all of us in the bus] come from Venezuela, which is a very difficult country,” the man said in Spanish. “Really, we’ve been wanting to leave for a long time. We have been travelling for days. Migration [officials] have screwed us over very much in Mexico as well, but what we want is to triumph, we want to evolve and we want to be able to have everything.”

The country has struggled with food shortages and inflation amid larger challenges to its economic model and political chaos.

The comments from the man were met with a brief silence from the Fox News reporter, an experienced correspondent who has embedded in Ukraine and other locales around the world.

“So I’m not going to be able to translate all of that, and I wouldn’t even try because it wouldn’t look good on live TV,” Jenkins said. “But as you can see, they’re coming across here, all of these migrants.”

Elsewhere in the segment, the reporter asked another migrant in Spanish about “President Harris” saying “that border closed”.

The Independent has contacted Jenkins and Fox News for comment.

Jenkins appeared to struggle with basic Spanish in a 2021 segment that also saw the reporter asking people whether President Joe Biden had created an “open border,” a common criticism from conservative politicians.

The Texas governor took credit for the bussing plan on Thursday, which came a day after fellow Republican governor Ron DeSantis of Florida chartered private planes to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a popular vacation island for the wealthy off the coast of Massachusetts.

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues ignoring and denying the historic crisis at our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for almost two years,” the Texas governor wrote in a statement on Thursday.

“Our supposed Border Czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has yet to even visit the border to see firsthand the impact of the open border policies she has helped implement, even going so far as to claim the border is secure. Texas will continue second migrants to sanctuary cities like Washington, DC, until President Biden and Border Czar Harris step up and do their jobs.”

The White House responded to the Texas governor’s move, describing it as a “political stunt.”

“The fact that Fox News and not the Deparmtnet of Homeland Security, the city, or local [non-governmental organisations] were alerted about a plan to leave migrants, including children, on the side of a busy DC street makes clear that this is just a cruel, premeditated, political stunt,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday.

Indeed, large numbers of migrants have crossed the US-Mexico border under the Biden administration, and the president ended some of President Trump’s most hard-line immigration policies, like intentional family separation.

However, experts note that Mr Biden’s border regime is far from an open one.

As The Independent has reported, the president continued mass expulsions of asylum seekers on purported public health grounds for long stretches of his administration.

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