I use the term illegal immigrant quite often on this blog though I should probably use another term. What I’ve noticed, and correct me if I’m wrong, any news story about crime involving an undocumented or illegal immigrant make certain to mention “illegal immigrant” in the title. This, I believe, is something we really haven’t seen too much of in the past. With illegal immigration as such a hot topic in the US today the news outlets are making sure to capitalize on the ratings they’ll receive when mention illegal immigrants and immigration.
This is similar, in my opinion, to the stories of children being abducted that appear on the news when it has become a hot topic in the past. Although many children are abducted everyday these tragedies often go unreported. However, once a big story hits that grabs the publics’ attention all the news outlets are looking for are more similar stories.
It’s no secret that not every crime is reported on the news. We don’t find about every murder, rape, child abduction, or other serious crimes. So to see such a focus on stories of illegal immigrants committing crime is very troubling. As we all know the media is a business and they go where the money is. Unfortunately their sensationalizing illegal immigrants as criminals falls right in line with the anti-immigrant and anti-illegal immigrant groups. When this is all the public sees then they’re going to go against plans such as Spitzer’s to license all immigrants regardless of their citizenship status.
Additionally, ads like Tom Tancredo’s illustrate how the anti-illegal immigrant groups are using fear to promote their inhumane agendas. By putting spotlights on the minute percentage of illegal immigrants that are committing serious crimes they are trying to create a stereotype through which to judge every undocumented immigrant.