In September, Esquire revealed that Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) family’s farm was deeply dependent on undocumented immigrant labor. Yet last night, Nunes appeared on Fox News to help promote fear of undocumented immigrants in service of Donald Trump’s demand for a wall.
Predictably, Trump and his Fox Friends jumped on the tragic killing of California police officer Ronil Singh by an undocumented immigrant to push more nativism and xenophobia:
Trump didn’t bother to show any thoughts in his feed for the officer or his family, which includes a wife and five-month-old son.
You could hardly turn on Fox News without hearing about this tragedy – and seeing it exploited for partisan political gain. But it took an extra dollop of chutzpah to turn to Nunes on the subject.
In his Esquire piece, reporter Ryan Lizza wrote that The NuStar farm, owned by Nunes’ parents and his brother and sister-in-law, not Devin Nunes, is “central to his identity and a feature of every major political profile written about him.” In fact, Nunes appeared on Fox last night from the World Ag Expo in California. “It doesn’t get better than this,” Nunes said about his location. But as Lizza uncovered, Nunes' family’s farm is now in Iowa and wholly dependent, along with the rest of its farming community, on undocumented labor:
One source, who was deeply connected in the local Hispanic community, had personally sent undocumented workers to Anthony Nunes Jr.’s farm for jobs. “I’ve been there and bring illegal people,” the source said, asserting that the farm was aware of their status. “People come here and ask for work, so I send them over there.” When I asked how many people working at dairies in the area are documented citizens, the source laughed. “To be honest? None. One percent, maybe.”
Anti-immigrant fanatic Tucker Carlson gave Nunes a pass on this revelation during an October appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight. But at least that discussion was about the Russia investigation, not the supposed dangers of undocumented immigrants.
Host Jason Chaffetz, subbing for Sean Hannity, brought up a second undocumented criminal as he prodded Nunes for demonization: “A Gustavo Garcia is accused of this reign of terror going through the county. Remind viewers what happened less than two weeks ago.”
A banner on the screen read: “CA SANCTUARY LAW ALLOWED TWICE-DEPORTED ILLEGAL TO EMBARK ON MURDEROUS ‘REIGN OF TERROR’”
If you didn’t know Nunes’ story (and the fact that he has long supported immigration reform, including amnesty for some undocumented workers already here), you would never suspect it from this segment. He cagily focused on sanctuary cities without actually endorsing a border wall as a solution.
NUNES: The sad part is that in the last election in California, these policies were rewarded at the ballot box. So the Democrats who condoned these policies had probably their biggest election win ever. And so something’s not making sense. I don’t know if people just aren’t getting the right information but you would think that at some point, politicians would be held accountable for their actions or inactions. And in this case, it’s pretty darned clear that these sanctuary city policies are leading to innocent people getting murdered.
Nunes was more forthcoming when the conversation switched to attacking Democrats. Noting that Rep. Nancy Pelosi is in Hawaii, not her district, during the government shutdown, Chaffetz sneered, “How does the president come to a resolution when Nancy Pelosi is workin’ on her hula as opposed to actually negotiating something that’s reasonable?"
FACT CHECK: Pelosi and the Democrats are still in the minority. More importantly, the resolution to the shutdown is currently in the Senate. Chaffetz even acknowledged this fact at the end, when he said, “Remember, the House passed the five billion dollars [Trump wanted]. It’s the Senate that’s not doing it.”
Captain Cover-Up Nunes went right along with the dishonest “hula” smear.
NUNES: You have President Trump sitting in Washington, D.C. waiting to cut a deal and they’re off on vacation. I mean, look, they never wanted to do a deal. They wanted the government to shut down. The second that Donald Trump said, ‘Well, look, I’ll own the shutdown’ or ‘Fine, I’ll shut it down,’ they were like, ‘OK, that’s it. We’ll get out of town, go to Hawaii,’ and then you watch. On January 3rd, when there’s a new Congress, they’re going to try to pass something and then this is just going to continue. And in the meantime, problems are not being solved.
Watch Fox News overlook in Nunes what it would surely make a huge issue in a Democrat above, from the December 28, 2018 Hannity show.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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