June 24th, 2007
Biased network coverage of immigration bill
By Leo Laurence
Watching network coverage of the pending immigration legislation in congress is disturbing. It’s heavily biased AGAINST immigrants.
Over and over we see images of young Latinos scaling the fence that separates our border with Mexico. In other words, we see alleged crimes – illegal entry – being committed. We don’t see the undocumented workers being a vital part of our economy.
The legislation focuses largely on immigrants already in this country, people who work hard every day to make our country’s economy strong.
Numerous studies have been made that our nation’s economy would be literally crippled if – for just one day – every undocumented immigrant refused to go to work. Buses wouldn’t be driven. Taxis would be scarce. Salads in restaurants would have no lettuce, etc., etc., etc.
Also, I watch interviews of anti-immigration citizens complaining that these “illegals” get free medical care, education, etc. However, several university studies have shown that undocumented workers pay far more in taxes – on food gas, etc. – than they receive in benefits.
Semantics is important in news coverage.
The networks refer to these as “illegal aliens,” a phrase used most frequently by the anti-immigrant forces. The more preferred – and more objective – term would be “undocumented immigrants.”