Monday, February 02, 2009

Stimulus bill for Liars like Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly.

From what I've been able to find on reputable sites, (New York Times, and from my own knowledge Undocumented Immigrants pay more than 7 billion dollars into the system each year in Social Security payroll deductions and 1.5 billion dollars in Medicare taxes.

Most of the people use fake social Security cards or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) to get jobs and most don't collect. Both Social Security and medicare would be in even worse shape if the undocumented workers were able to collect benefits but they are not entitled to any benefits.

Even if some are getting benefits, the overwhelming majority pay into the systems but never get anything from the system.

I'm not making excuses; I am just trying not to be blinded by the message of hatred from those who really are reacting without thinking their positions through.

Pushing false information has lasting consequences on the image of immigrants, and those perceived to be foreign.

On January 29, 2009, Associated Press staff writer Julie Hirschfeld Davis, released the article “Hill Republican: Stimulus aids illegal immigrants” where the false assertion was made that the Stimulus package would provide money for undocumented immigrants:

The $800 billion-plus economic stimulus measure making its way through Congress could steer government checks to illegal immigrants, a top Republican congressional official asserted Thursday.

Shortly after its publication, the story gained a lot of public attention by the conservative news site The Drudge Report, CNN’s Lou Dobbs, and FOX News. Hours after the false claim was retracted by the AP (3:02 p.m. ET), these “news organizations” repeated it nonetheless. The Drudge Report kept the link to the uncorrected AP story up for 4 hours. Dobbs made the claim at 5:27 pm ET. FOX News repeated the claim at 6:09 pm ET, and then again at 8:16 pm ET on Bill O’Reilly’s.

As it turned out, the one single anonymous source was later withdrawn and the article was rewritten to show the information provided by that source had been false.

A senior GOP congressional official expressed concern Thursday that the bill could steer government checks to undocumented workers, but in fact the measure prevents anyone without a Social Security number from claiming tax credits of $500 per worker and $1,000 per couple.

Stories like these tend to instigate anti-immigration sentiments given the controversial topic, and Fox News, Lou Dobbs, and the Drudge Report only add fuel to the fire. The point is simple: pushing false information has the lasting consequences on the image of immigrants, and those perceived to be foreign. Ineffectively informing the public about two important issues, immigration and the economy, will only strengthen the tensions amongst the various ideologies debating these topics.

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