Immigration

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  • Wall Street Journal Vs. Wall Street Journal: Puerto Rican Citizenship Edition

    WSJ Highlights Poll Showing Few Know Puerto Ricans Are U.S. Citizens Weeks After Slurring Them As "Refugees"

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    The disparity between The Wall Street Journal's objective news reporters and its right-wing editorial slant was on full display in a reporter’s blog post highlighting how few poll respondents can correctly identify Puerto Ricans as American citizens. The public's lack of awareness is no doubt fed by outlets like the Journal, which slurred Puerto Ricans as "refugees" in an editorial just five weeks ago.

    A June 9 blog post in The Wall Street Journal from economics correspondent Nick Timiraos surmised that one of the challenges members of Congress face as they debate bipartisan legislation to help Puerto Rico stabilize and restructure billions of dollars of government debt is that so few of their constituents realize that Puerto Ricans are natural-born American citizens:

    Pop quiz: What’s the national citizenship of people born in Puerto Rico to parents who were also born in Puerto Rico?

    If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’re not alone. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, but only 43% of Americans answered correctly in a recent Economist/YouGov poll. Some 41% said they were citizens of Puerto Rico, while another 15% weren’t sure.

    The statistic underscores one challenge Congress has faced as it considers legislation to address the island’s debt crisis: The issue hasn’t been a high priority for lawmakers partly because their constituents aren’t aware that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.

    There are many explanations for why 41 percent of respondents to an Economist/YouGov poll conducted in early May might have incorrectly thought Puerto Ricans are not American citizens. Perhaps the respondents had been reading The Wall Street Journal’s editorials, which on May 2 warned that the island’s debt crisis could create an “exodus” of “Puerto Rican refugees” to the United States mainland. The paper expressed outrage that these so-called “refugees” might “qualify for Medicaid, food stamps and public housing” and worst of all “be able to vote.”

    Because Puerto Rico is not a state, its millions of residents do not have any representation in the Congress that will decide their fate -- the same is true for hundreds of thousands of Americans living in other U.S. territories, including Washington, D.C. The editors of the Journal were stoking anxiety that foreign immigrants might move to the United States to steal jobs and skew elections, but the fact is American citizens have the right to live and work wherever they choose in their own country.

    Puerto Rico is an integral part of the United States and has been for nearly a century. Its residents have enjoyed birthright citizenship since March 2, 1917, thanks to the Jones-Shafroth Act. Full citizenship was later extended to “All persons born in Puerto Rico on or after April 11, 1899,” by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.

  • How Trump's Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Mirrors A 1994 California Proposition

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    As presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump campaigns in California for the state’s June 7 primary, various Hispanic figures have pointed out the similarities between the candidate’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and California’s Proposition 187. The ballot measure, which passed in 1994 and was eventually struck down by the courts, barred immigrants in the country illegally from accessing certain public services in California. Proposition 184 galvanized Latino voters against the GOP. Hispanics are pointing out in the media that Trump’s xenophobic messages could have the same effect on a national scale.

  • Fox Outraged At New White House Campaign For Immigrant Heritage Month

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Fox’s Stuart Varney expressed outrage at a “misleading” campaign created by the White House, aimed at raising awareness about immigration and refugees by highlighting the stories of celebrity immigrants. 

    Varney asked how taxpayers could be “paying for a political message” during the June 6 edition of Fox News’ Your World. Varney called the campaign “misleading” for not distinguishing between “many people’s opposition to illegal immigration, and support for legal immigration.” Capital Research Center’s Matthew Vadum criticized the left’s refusal to use the term “illegal alien,” claiming that the term is supposed to “stigmatize them, they’re lawbreakers”: 

    According to Bustle, celebrities including Kerry Washington, Rosario Dawson, and Lupita N’yongo joined the White House to spread awareness about immigrants and refugees for Immigrant Heritage Month in June. In a video for the campaign, celebrities discussed “the importance of immigrants in the history and fabric of America.” Part of the #IAmAnImmigrant campaign, the video draws attention to immigration reform and refugees, and encourages others to share immigration stories on the website. Actresses Kerry Washington and Gina Rodriguez tweeted their support for the campaign:

  • Alex Jones: Trump University Judge Is "The Equivalent Of A Hispanic Grand Dragon"

    Trump Ally Roger Stone Joins Racist Rant, Slams Judge Gonzalo Curiel As "A Mexican Radical"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the June 4 edition of Genesis Communication Networks’ The Alex Jones Show (emphasis addded):

    ALEX JONES (HOST): Today, we are going to look at this judge who has been ruling basically against [Donald] Trump and doing unprecedented things in the Trump University case. And I'll be honest with you, I've kind of ignored Trump University to a certain extent -- I've done some research. But after Trump came out and said this guy is a Mexican, and by Mexican his loyalty is to Mexico. And so, I did some research and found out wow, Trump needs to go further here. This guy is the head lawyer over a lawyer group based in California, that for decades has been promoting, basically, race-based brainwashing.

    Now, I don't like the Ku Klux Klan, but MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán] and [the National Council of] La Raza and organizations like this ... these guys basically operate just like the Klan. They say for those inside our race, everything. For those outside the race, nothing. La Raza means "the race," so I see Trump say this about this judge, and I think well you're just saying because he's Mexican in his heritage that he ruled against you. Has Trump gone too far? And I go look it up, and the guy is worse than what Trump's saying. And that's the problem, Trump will just throw something out that's true, but then I guess with the soundbites not get into the whole background of it. So, we're going to talk about this judge a little bit right now, but I'll tell you it's a fair headline to say that this judge is the equivalent of a Hispanic grand dragon.

    [...]

    I just hope Trump unloads on him, like this Daily Caller article "Judge Presiding Over Trump University Case Is A Member Of La Raza." And again, that means "the race." People say, well, that's okay because Hispanics can say we’re a racial group, but whites if you say we're in a racial group that's bad. No, when people organize politically and say "we're only for our group," classically liberal views are that's dangerous and bad, a la Adolf Hitler. Roger Stone, what do you have to say?

    ROGER STONE: Well, Alex, I think first of all that it's important to establish that the judge is not only a Mexican radical. He's also a Hillary Clinton contributor.

    Previously:

    Meet The Press Panel Guests: Trump's Remarks On Judge "Blatantly Racist," A "Racist Bullhorn"

    "Have You No Shame, Sir?": Fox Guest Excoriates Trump For Racist Attacks On Federal Judge

    Watch CNN's Jake Tapper Grill Trump Over His Racist Attacks On Federal Judge

  • How Conservative Media Enabled Trump’s Outrageous Lies

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS & JARED HOLT

    Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and conservative media figures repeatedly enabled each other to spread baseless smears and outright lies throughout the Republican presidential primary election cycle. Voices in conservative media repeatedly legitimized Trump’s debunked conspiracies, policy proposals, and statistics, some of which echoed longtime narratives from prominent right-wing media figures.

  • Fox & Friends Hosts Discredited Academic To Push Faulty Anti-Immigrant Report

    Jason Richwine Has Argued That Latinos Will Never Reach IQ Parity With Whites

    Blog ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Fox News hosted anti-immigrant, discredited academic Jason Richwine -- who once claimed Latinos may “never reach IQ parity” with whites -- to peddle shoddy research painting immigrants as a fiscal burden. Richwine used the Fox platform to hype his anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report, which experts have called “fundamentally flawed" and pushes spurious claims about immigrants and welfare.

    Fox & Friends hosts allowed Richwine to hype his May 9 CIS report that claimed immigrant-headed households receive more welfare than households headed by native-born people. Experts called the findings “fundamentally flawed” and misleading, but Fox host Tucker Carlson called them “almost unbelievable” and “shocking.”

    TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): These numbers are almost unbelievable. I'm assuming they're true, they're shocking. I want to put up on the screen the amount in welfare that the average illegal immigrant gets every year. $5,692 versus American families $4,431. What kind of country gives more benefits to illegal aliens than to its own citizens?

    JASON RICHWINE: Well, you know, Tucker, it's actually, it's all immigrant households, not just illegal. It's legal and illegal. They both receive a very large amount of welfare. In fact, actually, about half of all immigrant households receive some form of welfare. And you see the numbers on the screen there. So it's quite large. To me, the biggest takeaway from this is that there is something fundamentally wrong with your immigration system when immigrants are receiving more welfare than natives.

    [...]

    CARLSON: Or at least have a public debate about it, which as of right now is not allowed at all, as you know. So the basic justification for the record high immigration levels we have now, 3 million people in the last two years, is that our economy needs it. They're the engine of the economy. It's a net plus to America economically. But these numbers suggest the opposite.

    RICHWINE: Immigration certainly raises GDP, but almost all of that money goes to the immigrants themselves. There's really only a small sliver that ends up going to natives and, in exchange for that sliver, there's a very large redistribution of money from labor to capital.

    Jason Richwine wrote in 2009 that Hispanics and blacks have lower IQs than white people, has penned articles for a “nationalist” website, and has tied himself to a network of anti-immigrant nativists. Richwine resigned from conservative think tank Heritage Foundation after co-authoring a shoddy, heavily criticized anti-immigration report.

    CIS has ties to hate groups in the nativist lobby, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and has been repeatedly criticized for its shoddy research.