Susan Collins opposes bill focused on stopping taking children from asylum seekers

Sen. Susan Collins

What is the position of Sen. Susan Collins regarding the Trump administration’s policy on taking children from asylum seekers?

The Collins position is that she doesn’t like what’s happening but she doesn’t support the focused bill, written by Sen. Feinstein, which would stop it. (See text here).

Outside of Maine, the media gets that.

Here, for instance, is how the Washington Post covered the Collins position:

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Collins said breaking up families was “traumatizing to the children who are innocent victims.” . . .

At the same time, Collins was critical of Democratic efforts to end the policy, including the Feinstein measure, which Collins called “too broad.”

See? Collins doesn’t support “the Feinstein measure.” She said it was “too broad.”

Moreover, Collins has not said she would ask Feinstein to change any specific language or provisions so the bill would get her support.

Collins has also said she wants to pass a much, much broader measure involving multiple, complex elements of immigration policy, that, she claims, would solve this problem. This undermines her position that the Feinstein’s bill broadness is the problem.

Meanwhile, the Maine press’s reporting on the Collins position has been misleading, including from this paper.

The front page headline in today’s Bangor Daily News states “Susan Collins says separating immigrant families ‘inconsistent with American values’” but it never mentions she opposed the focused bill to stop that which was introduced by Sen. Feinstein. It doesn’t even include the name “Feinstein” or mention the existence of this focused bill.

The same approach was taken in this morning’s story from Maine Public Radio. It reported that Collins criticized the policy but never mentioned she opposes the bill focused on fixing it.

Mentioning one element of the Collins position and leaving out the fact that she opposes the bill focused on fixing the policy misleads readers. The Maine press can and should do better.

Update: Kudos to Maine Public and the Bangor Daily News for later posting this accurate piece: “Collins says she doesn’t support Democratic bill to end family separations.”

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.