New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office spread a lie about ICE agents looking to deport a fourth grader, then shrugged off any responsibility for whipping up hysteria about the issue.
It started last Thursday, when someone called City Hall to report that “federal immigration agents” went to an elementary school in Queens to “inquire about” a student.
Based on that information, de Blasio’s press secretary Eric Phillips added fuel to the fire by tweeting about the incident.
Mayor's been briefed on a fed immig agent showing up at Queens' PS58 Thurs. asking about a 4th grader. School turned him away. A 4th grader.
— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) May 13, 2017
“Mayor’s been briefed on a fed immig agent showing up at Queens’ PS58 Thurs. asking about a 4th grader,” he wrote. “School turned him away. A 4th grader.”
Phillips never said why the agents were there or specifically which agency they were from, but his disdain was palpable, leading us to assume that the agents were ICE agents who were there to deport the child.
Pro-illegal immigration advocates took that tweet and ran.
Ice coming after a 4th grader at Queen PS58. No warrant. turned away. Must be a bad hombre 4th grader. When are we going to stop this? https://t.co/2Xf8f0yB5T
— ALT🛂 Immigration (@ALT_uscis) May 14, 2017
FBI & DOJ employees cling to their principles. But with ICE, all Trump had to do was drop the leash.
We need reforms when this is over. https://t.co/K8AX9JTAbC
— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 14, 2017
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) May 14, 2017
For the record, these were not ICE Agents and they were not going to deport anyone. But when did the left ever let facts get in the way of a good story? That’s when the leftist New York media got hold of it:
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 14, 2017
Here’s what really went down, according to the New York Times:
The immigration agents who visited Public School 58 in Maspeth on May 11 were not enforcement officers, but fraud investigators for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Katherine Tichacek, a spokeswoman for the agency. The agents were trying to determine if a student was enrolled in order for a parent to qualify for an immigrant benefit, which could be permanent residency or a work authorization.
The two agents were stopped at the door by a school security officer who called the school administrator, according to the city’s Department of Education. The administrator said the child was not enrolled at the school.
So what did de Blasio’s office do? Did they issue a correction? An apology? Nope. They said that sure – they spread a lie, but it was okay because he just gave facts and they were “accurately delivered.” Seriously. He said that.
100%. Not a rumor, facts were right, accurately delivered. Parents don't deserve to be kept in the dark when immig. agents are in schools. https://t.co/elM2LwMhW1
— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) May 17, 2017
In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Phillips defended his reaction. “The circumstances of the visit, the branch they were from and the lack of information from D.H.S. made us highly suspicious,” Mr. Phillips said. “We would have the same suspicions today.”
Did Phillips want to take responsibility for adding fuel to the fire at all? Nope.
“I think ICE has fueled the fire,” he said. “Immigration agents, really for any reason, showing up in our elementary schools is alarming. ICE’s enforcement efforts, broadly, are alarming. Parents deserve to know when D.H.S. shows up at our elementary schools.”
And as of this writing, the New York Daily News has not issued a correction or a retraction to their story.
And that’s how the left spreads lies, cloaked in “facts” that can be twisted and manipulated to fit whatever narrative they want.