Whatever you do, ladies and gentlemen, don’t call the situation unfolding at the border a “crisis.” Especially if you happen to be a writer or journalist who works for Politico.
Apparently the news outlet has ordered staff members not to use the term “crisis” when they report on the massive influx of illegal immigrants that are pouring across the border on a daily basis, according to a letter sent internally that found its way into the hands of folks over at The Washington Examiner.
The publications rule on this is similar to one being used by The Associated Press and comes about despite the fact that President Joe Biden used the phrase himself, for the first time, very recently.
“Avoid referring to the present situation as a crisis, although we may quote others using that language while providing context. While the sharp increase in the arrival of unaccompanied minors is a problem for border officials, a political challenge for the Biden administration and a dire situation for many migrants who make the journey, it does not fit the dictionary definition of a crisis,” the memo written and sent out by director Maya Parthasarathy says. “If using the word ‘crisis,’ we need to ask of what and to whom.”
Dictionary.com defines a crisis as “a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.” The Cambridge English Dictionary describes a crisis as “a time of great disagreement, confusion or suffering.”
The White House has denied the word applies, but Biden and spokeswoman Jen Psaki have both used the word in unguarded moments, prompting walk-back efforts. Politico did not respond to a request for comment.
Border patrol officials logged over 14,000 unaccompanied minors in custody last month. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that roughly 117,000 migrant children will enter the country by the end of the year. For context, 80,000 unaccompanied minors entered through the southern border in all of 2019, when the media seemed to have no problem labeling the surge as a crisis.
Not sure what else you would call a situation where thousands upon thousands of people are coming across the border and overwhelming towns and cities located in that area of the country and we have nowhere to put them all or the means to adequately care for them, but the word “crisis” seems to fit the bill pretty nicely.