Accuracy in Media

Many in the liberal media believe that those who don’t embrace the massive influx of illegal immigrants to the United States with open arms, accepting their illegal crossings as a search for “refuge,” are hate mongers, and racists, or worse. Now, those who don’t accept the “it’s for the children” argument when faced with the influx of more than 60,000 unaccompanied alien children (UACs) are condemned as child-haters as well.

All of these elements were present in a hit job on the residents of Lawrenceville, Virginia recently perpetuated by The Washington Post. Reporter Tina Griego jumped feet first into the immigration debate on July 25, writing that this Virginia town had “unequivocally rejected temporary housing for 500 Central American children seeking refuge.” Firstly, Griego’s tone suggests that she has accepted the mainstream media argument that the current influx of illegal immigrants is because of violence in their home countries, not the perception that the United States has loosened its own immigration policies. As AIM’s Roger Aronoff reported earlier this month, the El Paso Intelligence Center, which utilizes federal data, states in a report that “Of the 230 total migrants interviewed, 219 cited the primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisos…”

And, as Breitbart News has questioned, why has the Obama administration repeatedly been mentioning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) memorandum if it does not, itself, believe that this memorandum played some role in the current border crisis?

While Griego is not willing to attribute anything but innocent motivations to the child crossings (she does not mention the many adult border crossings), she has nothing but terrible things to say about those who oppose “the children.” She calls it a “full-throated, bared-teeth rage with which not everyone is comfortable or proud,” quotes a source likening it to opposition to the Civil Rights movement and the forced integration of schools, and refers to it as “that night’s fury” and “heat.” The implication is that the backlash is irrational. “In the days since, similar anger has raged throughout the country,” she writes.

The “fury” in Lawrenceville was the town speaking out against the federal government’s decision to use the local historically black college as a temporary shelter for UACs.

But, according to Griego, we can’t use the term UAC either. It’s too dehumanizing. “In this heat, the children cease to become children. They are, instead, called by the government acronym for unaccompanied alien children: UACs,” writes Griego. “They are called juveniles, illegals, possible carriers of infectious diseases and random mayhem, young men of unverifiable age and unknown intent who might be better suited for the empty state prison down the road.”

Are these concerns really so unjustified? AIM has already cited reports of the infectious diseases carried by some illegal aliens. “Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council Shawn Moran told Fox News that the violent MS-13 gang is exploiting the chaos on the U.S. border to recruit new juvenile members,” reported The Washington Free Beacon earlier this month.

“They are denied innocence in order to be remade as symbols,” asserts Griego.

Griego, and the Post, are trying to turn this town into a symbol of hatred and bigotry because they don’t like its reaction to illegal immigration. But there are two sides to this debate, and a good reporter shouldn’t forget that. Demonizing one side to score political points, taken to this level by Griego, is nothing more than thinly disguised advocacy journalism.

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