Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Another Post scoop: Some immigrants are against a proposed immigration bill

Articles like this are a reason why the political discourse in this country often disappoints. Immigrant Bill Sends Chill Through Rally

Washington Post writer Paul Schwartzman covered a March 7 rally on the steps of the Capitol. The rally was intended to protest pending legislation which would set up a visa program for foreign workers, criminalize assisting illegal immigrants and build a fence on the Mexican border. Naturally, a lot of politicians and immigrants aren’t too happy with it; hence, the rally.

Mr. Schwartzman interviewed various rally participants who provided him with such insightful quotes as:

Felix Mcacos, 32, a Guatemalan maintenance worker "We want a voice,"

“…a man who identified himself only as Jose, a 31-year-old Mexican construction worker …the House bill would hurt people who "are coming only for work, to feed our children. We are not terrorists." “ and

“Marisol Albornoz, 55, a Chilean immigrant….."This country has always been a melting pot," she said. "Why should it be any different now?"

Left out of Mr. Schwartzman’s hard-hitting piece is the background these people are speaking from. We learn they are from outside the US but are they here legally or not? I think it makes a difference. If they’re here legally, then the bill doesn’t directly affect them so why do they think it will. Or what provisions of the legislation do they find troublesome. Are they rallying out of ignorance or educated opposition. If they’re here illegally – well, then their opinion about pending legislation holds little value for me (kind of like referencing foreign law in Supreme Court opinions).

Quoting such Mom and Apple Pie comments as "This country has always been a melting pot" add absolutely nothing to our understanding of the proposed legislation (which isn’t aimed at all immigration, just ILLEGAL immigration) and obscure the issues at hand.

I am often disdainful of the Washington Post even though I believe, on the whole, it’s one of the better newspapers out there…great even, if compared to the NY Times or my hometown Baltimore Sun. Pieces like this, though, just bring it back to the pack..

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