In an August 23 Washington Times op-ed titled, "Obama's immigration shake-up, White House grants amnesty to anyone but convicted felons," Emily Miller wrote:
President Obama is using his executive authority to grant backdoor amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the administration's immigration-enforcement efforts would ignore "low-priority cases." That means most criminal aliens can stay, and only convicted felons will get the boot.
This new case-by-case-basis interpretation of immigration laws will give illegals a work permit to stick around in the United States, taking jobs away from the 9.1 percent of Americans looking for work. Congressional Democrats, who couldn't get their laissez-faire immigration bill passed last year, applauded the White House move.
Basically, it's a free pass as long as you don't get convicted of a serious crime.
Mr. Obama might as well stand at the border with a sign saying, "Come on in. Do whatever you want, just don't get caught."
Fox News has chosen to ignore the specific instruction of the Associated Press Style Book, which urges journalists not to shorten the phrase to exclude the word "immigrant," and calls by several news associations to stop using the word because it "pollutes" and can "skew public debate" on immigration.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) explained why the term is problematic:
NAHJ is concerned with the increasing use of pejorative terms to describe the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States. NAHJ is particularly troubled with the growing trend of the news media to use the word "illegals" as a noun, shorthand for "illegal aliens". Using the word in this way is grammatically incorrect and crosses the line by criminalizing the person, not the action they are purported to have committed. NAHJ calls on the media to never use "illegals" in headlines.
Shortening the term in this way also stereotypes undocumented people who are in the United States as having committed a crime. Under current U.S. immigration law, being an undocumented immigrant is not a crime, it is a civil violation. Furthermore, an estimated 40 percent of all undocumented people living in the U.S. are visa overstayers, meaning they did not illegally cross the U.S. border.
Tonight, immigration attorney Susan Church took that case directly to Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor (emphasis added):
CROWLEY: Susan, we're either a nation of laws or we're not. So why is this administration, then, rewarding the illegal act of entering the country in violation of our laws?
SUSAN CHURCH, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, it's funny that you say the term 2 million, because there's only 300,000 immigrants currently in deportation proceedings, and believe it or not, sometimes it's actually difficult to get into deportation proceedings. So this only applies to an extremely small number of immigrants. Within that subset of 300,000, no one with any criminal history whatsoever will be included. The categories are even more narrow for people -
CROWLEY: But Susan -
CHURCH: If I could finish, the categories are even -
CROWLEY: If they entered the country illegally, doesn't that make them a criminal?
CHURCH: No, that's a misnomer of Fox News, it's a civil violation.
CROWLEY: Oh, so entering the country illegally is not a criminal act?
CHURCH: So as I was saying -
CROWLEY: Wow, that's news on The Factor.
Conservative blogs have responded to the Obama administration's announcement of a new immigration policy by claiming that the president is "cancel[ing]" or "end[ing]" deportation of undocumented immigrants. In fact, the new policy prioritizes the deportation of criminals, and cases that are postponed can be reopened "at any given time."
From the August 15 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Loading the player reg...
Fox News' The Five seized on Alabama's controversial new immigration law to repeat the myths that the Obama administration is not enforcing immigration law; that illegal immigration is increasing; and that the E-Verify program, which allows employers to automatically check the immigration status of newly hired employees through government databases, works.
From the August 2 edition of Fox News' The Five:
Loading the player reg...
Andrew Breitbart has once again ducked responsibility for a story published on one of his own websites.
In March 2011, Jason Bradley, wrote a blog post on Big Peace titled "Terror Babies': A Growing National Security Threat." In his story Bradley promoted a conspiracy theory called "ludicrous" by one expert that pregnant terrorists are coming to America to have babies.
In an interview that aired on today's edition of Univision's Al Punto, host Jorge Ramos challenged Breitbart on the post, asking Breitbart whether he shared Bradley's position. In response, Breitbart said, "I didn't even read that article" and "I've never read that, I've never heard that and I'd have to see the context of that to give you an opinion. I would never call people that are born in this country who are from Mexico terror babies."
JORGE RAMOS (HOST): In one of your websites, in "Big Peace," there was an article written by Jason Bradley titled "Terror Babies: A Growing National Security Threat." Do you share Mr. Bradley's point of view?
ANDREW BREITBART: I didn't even read that article but I can tell you this, I created the Huffington Post in the United States of America which is a left of center blog. I created my blogs which are mostly right of center and I believe in open debate in our society. That's why I believe so strongly in the first amendment, so I don't know the specifics of that article, had I known going into this interview, I would've read it and we could have talked about the specifics.
RAMOS: Well the specifics is that Mr. Bradley's view is that children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants are terror babies.
BREITBART: I've never read that, I've never heard that and I'd have to see the context of that to give you an opinion. I would never call people that are born in this country who are from Mexico terror babies.
The full masthead of Big Peace says, "Andrew Breitbart Presents Big Peace." This isn't a website he's just loosely affiliated with, but one which is directly tied to him.
The masthead of his website notwithstanding, this isn't the first time Breitbart has claimed ignorance when challenged about things related to his website.
Fox & Friends repeatedly aired a photo of a man climbing a fence on the Mexican border to fearmonger over border security. However, illegal border crossings have reportedly "sputtered to a trickle," and the Obama administration has taken measures to increase border security; moreover, according to Fox's own reporting, the man shown in the picture was captured by Border Patrol agents.
Noted bigot and MSNBC regular Pat Buchanan has a new column out this morning bemoaning the incivility of soccer fans. Not just any soccer fans, mind you, but the backers of the Mexican national soccer team in their match against Team USA this past weekend for the Gold Cup championship in Pasadena (Mexico won 4-2). As Buchanan sees it, the boos that greeted Team USA from the Mexican soccer fans are proof positive that Mexicans just don't belong in America:
What does this event, in which [Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill] Plaschke estimates 80,000 fans in the Rose Bowl could not control their contempt for the U.S. team and for the U.S. national anthem, tell us?
We have within our country 12- to 20-million illegal aliens, with Mexico the primary source, and millions of others who may be U.S. citizens but are not truly Americans. As one fan told Plaschke, "I was born in Mexico, and that is where my heart will always be."
Perhaps he should go back there, and let someone take his place who wants to become an American.
By 2050, according to Census figures, thanks to illegals crossing over and legalized mass immigration, the number of Hispanics in the U.S.A. will rise from today's 50 million to 135 million.
Say goodbye to Los Angeles. Say goodbye to California.
Soccer fans behaving disrespectfully? I'm shocked! Shocked, I say! A rational person would point out that a) soccer fans are, by and large, jerks; and b) Mexico treats soccer as a sort of religion whereas Americans tend to regard it with disinterested contempt, which would account for the fan imbalance at last weekend's game. More importantly, the impolite behavior of a few thousand people at a soccer match is not an indictment of the broader Mexican-American community.
Unless, of course, you don't like Mexicans in the first place and are just grasping for confirmation of your prejudice. Viewed through that lens, rowdiness at a soccer match is reason enough to tell all those un-American Mexico fans to go back where they came from.
As immigration reform has re-entered the public debate, Fox News has spent the past several weeks misleading on the issue and slanting its news coverage to paint immigrants in a negative light.
The Center for Immigration Studies gave Tucson Weekly writer Leo W. Banks an award for "excellence in the coverage of immigration." However, in his writing, Banks has used dehumanizing and anti-immigrant language and has promoted the myth of extensive violence in United States along the border.
Less than week after fearmongering that if states stop participating in Secured Communities -- a federal deportation program begun under the Bush administration that may result in serial killers being on the loose -- Fox News was back at it, attacking states for not participating in the program.
On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse claimed that states opting out of the Secure Communities program is "mutiny" and is "undermining" current federal policy "and the rule of law" at the behest of "the Latino lobby." La Jeunesse's report then got really muddled. While showing a graphic, he falsely asserted that immigrants identified by the Secured Communities program either "had existing criminal convictions" or were "typically arrested for misdemeanors."
LA JEUNESSE: Secured Communities -- the program is a cornerstone of the president's immigration policy, which says, for illegals here, you work hard, you keep your nose clean, you get to stay. You break the law, you go home. But now the Latino lobby is pushing back. And this mutiny by states like Illinois, New York, Massachusetts are undermining that policy and the rule of law.
Now under the program, a criminal's fingerprints are run, not just with the FBI, but also DHS. DHS ran about 8 million fingerprints. Some 500,000 of those were immigrants, mostly illegals. About 200,000 were scheduled to be deported. About three-quarters had existing criminal convictions from murder to shoplifting. The rest arrested for misdemeanors like driving without a license. Now it is this group, the final group that some are -- some states that is -- are refusing to turn over to the feds even though supporters say even non-felons can be dangerous.
In fact, as La Jeunesse himself acknowledged later in the report, 70 percent of undocumented immigrants processed through the Secure Communities program had been convicted of a crime -- whether a misdemeanor or a felony, meaning that 30 percent were not convicted of any crime.
In an article on New York businesses that cater to new immigrant women from China who have recently given birth, The New York Times used the term "anchor babies" in referring to women who "come to the United States to give birth so that the children would be American citizens." The term "anchor babies" has been identified, among other things, as "derogatory," "racist," "ugly," and "derisive"; moreover, data show "anchor babies" to be a myth.
On Fox News, radio host Lars Larson repeated the myths that immigrants commit a disproportionate amount of crime and that the Obama administration "has not been great on deportations." In fact, data don't support the claim that undocumented immigrants have high crime rates; moreover, under Obama, deportations are at an all-time high.
Last August, more than 600 right-wing activists gathered for a Tea Party Nation rally on private land near the U.S.-Mexico border in Cochise County, Arizona. Fluttering in the desert breeze were hundreds of tiny American flags attached to a border fence of 15-foot-tall rusty poles.
|Sheriff Joe Arpaio at a Tea Party Nation rally on the border last August|
Rally speakers included Tea Party candidates for the US Senate and House of Representatives, as well as marquee names from Arizona's anti-immigration movement. The headliner was Fox News favorite Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the swaggering lawman whose ski-masked deputies terrorize suspected "illegals" in controversial round-ups, and whose idea of a good photo op is the forced march of shackled Latino immigrants down a city street.
"We have an invasion going on that's going to destroy this Republic," Pearce said.
"USA!" came the chanted reply. "USA!"
Spencer's founding of American Border Patrol in 2002 pre-dated the first Minuteman "civilian border patrols" by three years. Before his ranchland became a Tea Party rallying point it served as both meeting grounds and temporary housing for high-ranking members of various border vigilante factions. Minuteman American Defense leader Shawna Forde lived on the property in an RV owned by Spencer in the summer of 2008.
The following May, Forde masterminded the home invasion murders of a nine-year-old girl and her father in Arivaca, Arizona. Two weeks after the slayings, a SWAT team arrested Forde on murder and conspiracy charges as she was leaving American Border Patrol headquarters. (There is no evidence Spencer had any prior knowledge of the murders.)
Spencer informed Media Matters that he travels almost weekly to speak at Tea Party events, and that his ranch, the onetime vigilante outpost where Forde took shelter, is now a Tea Party rallying point. "Plans are for Tea Party groups to come to the ranch every week from now on," he said. "They are really fired up over the border issue."
Despite his association with Forde and his well-documented history of bigoted ranting and "reconquista" conspiracy mongering, Spencer is a rising star in the Tea Party movement.
He's not alone.