Immigration Coverage in the Crossfire – Washington Post
By Deborah Howell
Sunday, March 2, 2008; Page B06
Readers who oppose illegal immigration often complain that The Post has too much sympathy for those living in the United States illegally and too little for those who oppose this.They prefer that The Post use the term “illegal alien” and are disturbed that they sometimes are called “anti-immigrant” when they say they do not oppose legal immigration. While the Post covers many immigrant groups, most of the coverage of illegal immigration has involved Hispanics in the suburbs because that’s where the controversy is.
One person spoken of in this article wrote in to the Post and stated:
Leslie of Alexandria wrote last fall: “Am I the only one annoyed by The Post’s constant glorification of illegal immigrants? Hardly a week goes by without either an uplifting or heart-rending article.”
I have to agree. Too many uplifting and heart-rending stories really just ruins my day. What kind of person is this anyway?
Another gentleman claims a difference between those opposing undocumented migration and those that are anti-immigrant. I agree, but it’s only due to their lack of understanding, or more harshly, ignorance. When you put faith in a broken system that refuses many immigrants then you’re on some level anti-immigrant. It’s great that these people will welcome ‘legal’ immigrants, but they truly don’t understand what it takes to become one.
Sadly though the motivation behind many anti-“illegal” groups (which you can find buried in their ‘members only’ forums) has little to do with U.S. laws and more to do with the migrants themselves. They don’t want them here. If you’re on the fence and need proof just sign up for one of the bigger anti-migrant group’s forums and do some research, check out videos on You Tube, go over the Numbers USA or just read some books on U.S. history. This isn’t the first time we’ve experienced anti-migrant sentiment.
I’m an infrequent visitor to Numbers, but here’s a quote I just found from Roy Beck, the head of Numbers, on Nancy Pelosi’s stance against the Save Act:
“I want every American to be aware of Speaker Pelosi’s callous attitude toward the 23 million, less-educated working-age Americans who do not currently have a job,” Beck said.
23 million U.S. workers without jobs? What is he talking about? Is working age back down to 8 years old? I can’t get 23 million out of the total population, including children and the elderly, using the current employment percentage. Where is Beck getting his numbers (no pun intended)?. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the current unemployment rate is 4.9 percent which is 7.6 million people. Far too many, but this is a third of Beck’s claims on his website. This just exemplifies these group’s attempts to scare the public with false claims and data.
Getting back to the article. It does question both sides of the argument a bit, but people who want to know the truth simply need to do their research.
One final quote:
Have the views of those against illegal immigrants been fully told? My review included many stories quoting opponents — as well as their march on the Mall. Some feel they’ve been portrayed as racist and xenophobic. While some have been quoted expressing views that might be interpreted that way, most have not. Halsey said it has been “very challenging to write effectively about people opposed to illegal immigration, because they are very passionate and seem suspicious of our motives and are less welcoming to our attention when we try to talk to them about their motivations.”
I believe that most “have”, but I won’t say that all have. However, there is no doubt that the majority of anti-migrant protesters are making Hispanics feel unwelcome with their crass signs and exclusive use of the Spanish language to communicate to their “illegal” opponents.