Monday, October 06, 2008

Lies versus facts about Immigration

If the adverse effects or conditions of immigration were so severe, why do people find it necessary to create and spread lies about it? Something to think about.

The scapegoating of immigrants for various social ills and the perpetuation of a false narrative of “a border under siege” have been fueled in recent decades by the cold war, economic woes and 9/11. The events of 9/11 placed unlawful entry into the United States in the context of national security. Since then many people have all but conflated border crossings in the southwestern United States with the security breaches of large-scale, violent consequence. Even though not one terrorist has been caught along the southwestern border, campaign rhetoric in this election season has identified “toughness” on crime or on terror with punitive immigration policies. Faithful citizens must remain vigilant about the pervasive attitudes that influence us at least as much as Gospel values do, attitudes conveyed in the media and in political rhetoric that encourage xenophobia or ethno-cultural nationalism.

The lives of undocumented immigrants tell a more complex story than that of willful lawbreaking. This is particularly true when we consider the inadequacy of current law, the failure of approaches that begin and end with enforcement, and the commitment to natural law, which censures human structures that enable exploitation and dehumanization. The Human rights groups position defends marginalized persons regardless of their legal status, particularly those who survive harrowing border crossings and experience exploitation in our legal system and labor market. Rooted in a concept of justice that is relational, effusive and marked by mercy, teaching demands that we refuse to pit the rights of U.S. workers against those of international workers. A commitment to human dignity and solidarity calls us to guard against narrow nationalism, the idolatry of the market and the demonization of the other. From repentance we are called to social conversion toward interdependence in solidarity.

Look Who’s Talking About Latinos

It should come as no surprise that coverage of immigration, especially on talk radio, is often hard to categorize as anything but hateful. Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage are among the major culprits who routinely demonize Latino immigrants on their programs.

On cable TV, CNN host Lou Dobbs has used his show to crusade against undocumented immigration. More than 70 percent of his programs in 2007 discussed the issue, according to the watchdog group Media Matters.
But Dobbs has had plenty of help from his cable compadres. Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck have discussed undocumented immigration on 56 percent and 28 percent of their programs, respectively, almost always with an anti-immigrant slant.
The news networks have reinforced the idea there is little to know about Latinos outside of immigration. For years, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists has documented in its annual “Network Brownout” that Latinos make up less than 1 percent of the more than 12,000 news stories that air each year on the network evening news. Undocumented immigration and crime were the dominate focus of those stories.
The rise of anti-immigrant sentiment has impacted the Latino community immensely. A Pew Hispanic study released this week found that 1 in 10 Latinos have been stopped by the police or authorities and asked about their immigration status. Half of Latinos surveyed said the situation for Latinos has gotten worse over the past year due to concerns about deportation and discrimination in other areas of their lives, like finding jobs and housing.

$11 billion to $22 billion spent on welfare to Undocumented Immigrants each year.

The link provided leads to a FAIR a think tank Anti Immigrant group report. The report states that each year, state governments spend an estimated $11 billion to $22billion to provide welfare to immigrants. A reference is made to footnote 2. Footnote 2 refers to a report by Center for Immigration Studies CIS “Back Where We Started: An Examination of Trends in Immigrant Welfare Use Since Welfare Reform”. The CIS report contains no documentation to support the claim that FAIR made. A chart in the CIS report finds that 24.3% of Undocumented immigrant households used some welfare program. The average payment was $1,040. The report says there were about 8 million Undocumented immigrants in the country in 2002. Estimate 3 persons per household. The result is less than $1 billion. The FAIR report does not state how they arrived at the $11 billion to $22 billion figure from the CIS report either do not support any documentation about how they identify the numbers of Legal and Undocumented Immigrants. Again estimation versus facts. Meaning lies, lies, lies.

$12 billion dollars a year spent on primary and secondary school education for children here Undocumented.

The link refers to the April 1, 2006 transcript of Lou Dobbs Tonight. In the transcript, reporter Christine Romans states that The Federation for American Immigration Reform says taxpayers spend $12 billion a year on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally.A report by FAIR from 2005 entitled “Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red” provides the basis for these claims. What the FAIR report blatantly fails to include are the taxes paid by the immigrants and the return on the investment of education.A family with two children in school pays property taxes of $3,000 per year. The cost to the school district is $16,000 resulting in a net cost to taxpayers of $13,000 per year. However, before and after the children are in school, the family pays real estate taxes. In addition, after the children graduate, their education will result in increased earnings potential. Some studies have found that merely graduating high school increases a student’s lifetime earnings potential by as much as 40%. The result is a net benefit to society as a whole. and Again FAIR report does not state how they arrived to that figure. Again lies, lies, lies; Why do not support Students continue with their Education? Their Dream.

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