Not everyone in America who is skeptical of the immigration reform bill that the U.S. Senate passed last month is an uneducated bigot – but that's what the mainstream media would like you to believe.
Coverage of the legislation since mid-April, when the Senate introduced the sweeping overhaul, has been unequivocally biased to favor the liberal point of view. The Washington Post and New York Times have been the worst offenders. As these two papers are widely considered the gold standard in elite journalism circles, what they write influences what's covered and how it's covered on nightly network news, cable shows and in smaller regional papers around the country. They're true opinion-makers, and they're letting the American public down.
Of the more than 200 news articles and blogs the Washington Post wrote on immigration reform since the bill was introduced, pro-immigration stories more than doubled critical ones, and the number of articles that described how the Republican Party is fractured, inept and trying to lampoon the legislation nearly rivaled the daily news about the bill's changing content.
Of the dozen editorials the Post penned, none were compassionate toward the conservative opposition's viewpoint – instead the paper called them out for being "alarmist" and "mischievous" for not supporting what is so obviously a "moral" and "common sense" law.
The New York Times' so-called balanced coverage hasn't been any better. One of its columnists, David Brooks, took to the television airwaves this past weekend to call the case against immigration reform "intellectually weak."
How can the American public be informed, let alone decide how they feel about immigration reform, if they only hear one side of the story? Are opponents of the bill really outside of the American mainstream like the New York Times argued in its editorial last month? Should the U.S. public just accept the law, as the Post and the Times claim, because some action, however imperfect, is better than no action at all? Is it true that if the Republican Party doesn't accept the reform, its not ready to "modernize and grow," but is clinging to outdated and unpopular principles, as the Post cited in its feature on immigration antagonist, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions?
There are some real areas of concern in the legislation which have not yet been addressed by the media. The Senate's immigration bill represents the most sweeping overhaul of immigration law in nearly three decades – such a vast reform needs to be vetted from all sides. Skepticism should be welcomed, not dismissed. The process should take time and not be rushed.
This is what most American's consider common sense. The majority of those cynical of immigration reform have no desire to create an environment of "hostility and fear" for Latinos and Asians, as the Times put it, but just want to get the process right.
Nearly 30 years ago, lawmakers promised to fix our immigration system in exchange for granting citizenship to three million illegal immigrants. Fast forward to 2013 and our borders are still insecure and the number of illegal immigrants in the country has surged to three to four times what it was when that bill was passed. What in the Senate's current legislation will prevent this from happening again?
In addition, the costs of granting citizenship to the 11 million illegal immigrants who currently reside in the U.S., as the Senate bill proposes, is also unclear. Yes, the Congressional Budget Office said that the bill would lead to a net savings of $135 billion over the next decade; however, it only addresses the costs of federal welfare programs, not state. An amendment by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz to make sure immigrants would not have access to state or local government benefits was shot down, leaving those rolls open to immigrants almost immediately, before they're granted citizenship. What's that potential cost for that, and who will be paying for it?
Lastly, since these illegal immigrants will be excluded from Obamacare until they are Americans – a 10 to 13 year path in the Senate bill – U.S. employers may have an economic incentive to hire them over current U.S. citizens, because businesses won't be forced to pay them healthcare benefits, thereby making those granted amnesty and waiting for citizenship cheaper labor. Where can the average American go to get further information on this potential issue? Not in the New York Times or Washington Post.
Conservative websites like Breitbart and radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh are trying to responsibly explain conservatives' point of view – but a person needs to know of and seek out those sources to get fully informed, which takes additional time and energy. By reading national newspapers it's hard to decipher what are immigration reform's true virtues and vices because the content is so plagued with editorial propaganda. By anyone's standards, that's a media fail and true disservice to our country.
- Read Susan Milligan: Why Did the D.C. Metro Remove the Flowers at Dupont Circle?
- Read Pat Garofalo: O'Bannon NCAA Video Game Lawsuit May Gain a Current Player
- Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad