Is the Media Stumbling on Immigration Coverage?   

Immigration reform has been a hot topic during this election cycle. With both presidential nominees presenting very different plans for the betterment of our current deportation system, it is clear that the issue is far from being resolved. Traditionally, when people think about illegal immigration and illegal aliens, they think people from Mexico and other South American countries. But what about those from other parts of the world?

The Black Lives Matter Movement added a demand to their now 10-point platform that calls to “end the war on black people.” This point focuses on immigration reform in reference to those from African and Caribbean countries. The platform calls for an “end to all deportations.” To understand this platform, it is important to understand why the Black Lives Matter Movement decided to adopt it in the first place.

According to New York University Law School’s Immigrants Rights Clinic, black immigrants make up 7 percent of the total immigrant population (roughly 3.4 million people) and 10.6 percent of all immigrants in removal proceedings between 2003 and 2015.

Last year U.S. Immigration and Customs reported that of the 235,413 people deported from the United States, roughly 1,907 came from African and Caribbean nations, making it the second highest rate of deportation from cross ocean countries. This figure includes both criminal and noncriminal immigrants.

In an interview with Fusion, Carl Lipscombe, co-author of the platform, explains that, “deportations and immigrants in detention is really under the banner of mass criminalization.” Because of this, black immigrants are three times more likely to be detained and deported based on an alleged criminal offense.

The Black Lives Matter platform also calls to “repeal the 1966 Crime and Immigration Bill,” which would give immigrants the right to an attorney since immigration courts fall under civil rather than criminal. These laws apply to both illegal immigrants and those in the United States with a green card.

This action would affect all immigrants and could help to boost the following of immigration reform activists. It could also create a bridge between the Latino and black communities in the context of immigration and increase the coverage of the issue.  Daniel Martinez, a George Washington University sociology Professor and a principal director for the Migrant Border Crossing Study,  explains that while the two groups face different issues, “there is substantial overlap, especially when it comes to issues of excessive use of force and the criminalization of black and Brown bodies.”

In the future, we might see more about the raids on the homes of black immigrants, the targeting of blacks and the relation that has to the rate of immigration. We could see a shift in media focus from exclusive coverage of the Latino conversation to those of other nations.

So why has the media not covered stories dealing with black immigrants or immigration from other parts of the world in general? Could it be because there are more undocumented immigrants from the Western Hemisphere? Or that the black immigrants are mixed in with African Americans?

Maybe it is because immigrants from European countries seem more “dangerous” than those of Middle Eastern, African, and South American countries.

According to Professor Martinez, “the media focuses entirely too much on the issue of border enforcement and security as well as the removal of ‘criminal aliens.’” This is especially true since our border has the most military reinforcement in history, and migration from Mexico is at its lowest since 1970. In addition to that, most criminal aliens “have been removed for largely minor offenses, not serious or violent offenses.” In fact, Martinez said, “for several reasons, immigrant communities tend to be some of the safest communities in the United States.”

With the election consuming the media’s focus, many important developments in immigration and deportation reform are going unnoticed. The New York Times has produced many insightful pieces about immigration and the lives of immigrants while other major media outlets have only reported on immigration related to the election cycle.

Mainstream media has a way of controlling the narrative of the nation. While the way people consume media may have shifted, the source from which they gather information has not shifted as much as we might believe. The focus now needs to be educating the people about the reality of immigration.

The routine mistreatment of immigrants, as well as those faced with deportation because of the lack of a ruling on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the Supreme Court, or the large number of people who face deportation over petty crimes and misdemeanors are all subjects going unnoticed by large portions of the media, and this needs to change.

With immigration being such a big ticket item this election it is important that the public is at least presented with information relevant to making an informed decision regarding our nation’s future leaders. Is it not the media’s job to inform the public?

3 thoughts on “Is the Media Stumbling on Immigration Coverage?   ”

  1. Don Honda says:

    “By any measure, fears of (Illegal) immigration are driving many white Americans to the Republican Party. And, indeed, the Republican strategy on immigration appears to have been successful. Republicans now control the House and the Senate, the governor’s office in 31 states, and two-thirds of the state legislatures. They are winning the political war.”

    “An even bigger factor is that the ties of racial and ethnic minorities to the Democratic Party are tenuous. Research by Taeku Lee and myself shows that most Latinos and Asian Americans don’t feel like they fit into either party. In national surveys, those who refuse to answer a question about party identification, those who claim that they do not think in partisan terms, and independents make up the clear majority of both groups. All told, 56 percent of Latinos and 57 percent of Asian-American identify as nonpartisans.

    Even among blacks, there are signs of ambivalence. Almost 30 percent of blacks feel
    that the Democratic Party does not work hard for black interests.”

    “Most Hispanics aren’t single-issue voters when it comes to immigration. A recent Gallup poll found that among registered Latino voters, 67 percent are at least willing to support a candidate who doesn’t share their views on immigration. And 18 percent don’t consider the issue important at all.

    What’s more, many Hispanic citizens have little sympathy for immigrants who haven’t played by the rules. Especially among Latino voters born in the United States, resentment of immigrants who have entered the country illegally can run deep. Forty-two percent of American-born Hispanics disapprove of President Obama’s executive actions to prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants.”
    Reuben Navarette: No Joke: Trump Can Win Plenty of Latinos
    Conservative Hispanic Leaders Poised To Endorse Trump

    Gee, No wonder why I fall into the Proud Independent group.

  2. Don Honda says:

    NOTE & WARNING: The links provided below contain direct quotes from Obama and his officials.
    Obama gives free pass to businesses that hire illegals
    Audits, fines drop for employers

    “President Obama took office vowing to go after unscrupulous employers who hire illegal immigrants, but worksite audits have plunged over the last year and a half, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Immigration Studies, tumbling along with the rest of immigration enforcement.”,0,545192,full.story#axzz2xkzioeHR

    The Left-Leaning LA Times posted an article that shows that the Obama administration, the Illegal Alien lobby, and the major media outlets have been in collusion to depict the “high” deportation numbers. The exact opposite is true since the beginning of the current President’s policy. Interior deportation has and will be lower than 1973 rates. This is leading towards more people overstaying their visas and currently, more Illegal Alien minors crossing the border. Obama has just recently instructed border patrol to not turn back those Illegal Aliens on record as having entered illegally as priors, but to let them pass IF they don’t have a major criminal record. After the first Illegal Entry, it is a felony each time thereafter.

    Even Obama in 2011, called the deportation numbers deceptive when talking to Hispanic voters. President Obama said statistics that show his administration is on track to deport more illegal immigrants than the Bush administration are misleading.

    “The statistics are a little deceptive,” he said Wednesday in an online discussion aimed at Hispanic voters.”

    “If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero — it’s just highly unlikely to happen,” John Sandweg, until recently the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    Immigration Reform 2015: Obama’s Priority Enforcement Program Protects 87 Percent Of Undocumented Immigrants, Report Finds

    “The refocus in law enforcement efforts has effectively protected 9.6 million of the United States’ estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, the report found. In all, a full implementation of Obama’s changes would reduce annual deportations to approximately 25,000…”
    “The federal government’s chief deportation agency has seen its success plummet under President Obama, and its chief, Sarah R. Saldana, will tell Congress on Tuesday that they’ve had trouble adapting to the changing face of illegal immigration and a lack of cooperation from both American cities and from foreign countries.

    Ms. Saldana, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), says in testimony prepared for the House Judiciary Committee that the dramatic drop in deportations is a reflection of a trickier set of circumstances and pressures from all sides.

    She said she had to pull agents off their regular duties during last summer’s illegal immigrant surge at the border, which meant fewer people focusing on deporting the longtime illegal immigrants living in the interior of the U.S. And she said the lack of cooperation from states, counties and cities when agents ask them to hold an illegal immigrant for pickup has also hindered efforts.”

  3. Don Honda says:

    “ICE Director Saldaña Admits Dramatic Decline in Criminal Alien Deportations

    Testifying last week before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the Obama administration’s lax interior enforcement policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña admitted a dramatic decline in criminal alien deportations. ….Sessions was not satisfied, noting that her agency’s budget for deportation was increased from $2.6 billion in 2011 to $3.4 billion this year, and that the government even returned part of that allotment. (Id.) Summing up the hearing, Sessions said the decline in removals “demonstrated the failure of our system, when the one area that we were promised was going to be aggressively pursued was criminal aliens, and that is plummeting also. So there’s nothing really working effectively.”
    Criminal immigrants reoffend at higher rates than ICE has suggested
    Goodlatte: Administration’s Record of Releasing Criminal Aliens Has Gone from Bad to Worse

    Obama’s Budget Would Stop Reimbursing Prisons For Holding (Convicted) Illegal Immigrants

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