Talking Points

Is Homeland Security Hurting Babies?

On March 6, federal agents raided a factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts, detaining 361 illegal workers and arresting the owner of the business. Almost immediately, the feds say, 50 detainees were released to care for their children. The rest were taken to Fort Devens for processing and possible deportation.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick denounced the raid even though the feds say he was informed about it beforehand, as were a number of social service agencies.

The ultra-liberal Boston Globe also criticized the action and on Thursday, the New York Times, which owns the Globe, printed an editorial entitled, "Immigration Misery." The first paragraph says, quote, "A screaming baby girl has been forcibly weaned from breast milk and taken, dehydrated, to an emergency room, so that the nation's borders will be secure."

Wow. A screaming baby denied breast milk? So dehydrated she has to be hospitalized? Can this be happening in America?

Well, it may not have happened.

Because The Times editorial was so intense we decided to look into the situation. And guess what? There's some real problems with The Times' descriptions.

Two babies were admitted to two New Bedford area hospitals shortly after the raid. A 7-month-old was taken to St. Vincent's where it was diagnosed with pneumonia and dehydration. And another baby was admitted to St. Luke's, also with pneumonia and dehydration. Both babies were accompanied by guardians and both were treated. If there's another baby in play, we can't find it.

Of course, the immigration raid didn't cause the pneumonia, which most likely led to the dehydration. So the description used by The New York Times to demonize the Department of Homeland Security seems to be false.

Now, we called the Times asking for clarification. They say they witnessed the event but can't provide any details. What hospital was the baby in? We suspect they looked at the Web site featuring an unidentified baby. We saw the same Web site, the same thing, and it proves nothing.

Now, there's no question that bad things will happen when you arrest 300 people, rounding them up. And children will be adversely affected.

The blanket amnesty crowd, which includes The New York Times, the Boston Globe and most other liberal media, doesn't want any action taken against illegal workers. None. They support the catch and release program, which has led to at least 11 million people living illegally in America.

That being said, America mustn't harm children. The feds have to have to make exceptions on humanitarian grounds when kids are involved. The children are not responsible for all this immigration mess.

But Talking Points is fed up with misleading and dishonest tactics in the debate. The truth is, we can't find a baby in Massachusetts that was forcibly weaned from her mother's breast. The truth is that the two babies we did find had developed pneumonia on their mother's watch before the raid.

Unless The New York Times has other verifiable information, honesty dictates it corrects its editorial.

And that's The Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item

Actor Richard Gere is a well-known left-wing guy, close friend of the Dali Lama and not a close friend of President Bush, as we heard on the Letterman program last night.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, CBS'S "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Is this the kind of thing that can happen now?

RICHARD GERE, ACTOR: Probably not. We have the president right now who lies constantly and gets away with it.


Of course, Mr. Gere is entitled to his opinion as he was a short time after 9/11 at Madison Square Garden.


GERE: I think in the situation right now, when we have the possibility of taking this energy, this horrendous energy that we're all dealing and the possibility of turning it into more violence and revenge, we can stop that.

We can take that energy and turning it into something else. We can turn it into compassion, and some love, into understanding.

That's apparently unpopular right now. But that's all right.


Ridiculous? As always, you make the call.