With Massive Sob Story, WAPO Takes Not-So-Subtle Aim At Arizona`s SB1070
Patriotic immigration reformers are used to
from the MainStream Media [MSM]. But Sunday`s
Washington Post Page One story sets a new low standard.
The bold type headline in the print edition screams
"IN ARIZONA, A STARK CHOICE"
10, 2010, by Stephanie McCrummen, (email
Under that headline is a large photo, covering almost
half the top of the front page, of a forlorn woman
sitting at a window looking out. The caption tells
readers exactly where this blubbering blather of a sob
story is going to go:
"After Arizona`s new immigration law took effect,
Viridiana, looking out her apartment window, began
spending most of her time inside."
Underneath that photo caption, we read again in bold
"For one illegal immigrant, her American husband and
their children, state`s new law forces a difficult
decision: Stay in hiding, or join an exodus?"
At least WAPO used the correct term,
immigrant" rather than the PC
immigrant". But from there, the story gets worse.
McCrummen`s massive article jumps from its prominent
spot on page 1 to page 6 and takes that
entire page to detail the pathetic plight of this family.
obvious intent: Kill the
McCrummen`s article begins by claiming that supporters
of the AZ law
"began waving signs – `Adios,
Since then, the woman inside the apartment decided the city has become
so dangerous for her that it is best to keep hidden
These signs were not waved at her, just somewhere,
allegedly. But the tone is set.
Whoa! Why is this woman so stressed? She is legally
married to an American citizen.
Technically, this might not protect her from
deportation, completely, but deportations of
non-criminal illegals are rare.
By the way, while a federal judge blocked key parts of
SB1070 in July. A federal appeals court hearing is set
for Nov. 1.
Of course, Viridiana does have some limited basis for
are thinking she could go in the back of her uncle`s
truck— he drives an 18-wheeler,` says the woman`s
husband, John, a U.S. citizen, suggesting how his wife,
Viridiana, who is Mexican and crossed the U.S. border
illegally eight years ago, might leave Arizona.
scared of that,` says Viridiana, who has a disabled
5-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter.
could all go in the van,` John suggests. `But then I
could be arrested for
Well, what does the Arizona law actually say?
From the Arizona law, S.B.1070:
Requires all legal aliens to carry their federal
immigration papers, which is
already required under federal law.
to determine the immigration status of individuals who
they encounter during a lawful encounter and have
reasonable suspicion to believe they are illegal aliens.
Requires all people who are arrested to have their
immigration status checked.
Experts have noted that the Arizona law is not as strict
as the (often unenforced) Federal law. Unenforced laws
are more serious than having no law because they
encourage contempt for our precious Rule of Law—already
badly damaged by the way illegal immigration is ignored.
OK, Viridiana is an illegal alien. But unless she is
stopped for a violation,
her status is not going to be checked. Married to a US
citizen with two children, she is likely to have a
favorable chance for adjudication
with the help of an immigration lawyer.
This woman is one of at least 11 million illegal aliens
estimated to be in the USA. Decades of failure to
enforce existing laws by our Federal Government has put
all of us under pressure—they take jobs, tax-supported
services, crowd our school with
children who don`t speak English,
and exacerbate the
that is turning many cities into ever more
dangerous dens of violence.
The less informed reader might want to generalize that
this lady`s situation is a common case, implying that
the flood of illegal invasions should continue unabated.
McCrummen even implies through her eyes that Arizona is
engaging in widespread
"Viridiana hears rumors almost every day: that public
bus drivers are asking passengers for papers; that
landlords are evicting tenants who can`t prove they are
citizens; that the sheriff is going to start sweeping
illegal immigrants at Food City,
where Viridiana used to shop, or at
fields like the one across the street. She worries about
every police car she sees, about the air of vigilantism
she feels taking hold."
So what does she do?
Viridiana, this hoped-for place is a tiny town called
Moses Lake, in
which she knows almost entirely from phone conversations
with an aunt who has been urging her to come there since
the trouble in Arizona began.
says Washington doesn`t have these kinds of problems,`
Viridiana says, and for now, this is all she needs to
rest are questions for a person with few decent options.
The back of an 18-wheeler or the van? And what about
money? The van would need new tires, repairs, three days
of gas, plus hotels and food – at least $2,000, she and
John figure, when their only income is a monthly $600
government check that John gets for the boy. And that is
if they go.
they stay, there is the question of John: He is 55,
and, is by his own account, struggling. His own
citizenship cannot confer residency for Viridiana
because she came to the United States illegally. He
would have to hire a lawyer to sort out her status by
proving that her sick son could die without her, a
$10,000 long shot that depends partly on the goodwill of
Migration to another state may seem attractive. But
those states could well pass AZ -type statutes, if and
when Arizona wins the legal battle. Many are poised to
McCrummen cites the economic hits taken by the Phoenix area,
which of course gives her a chance to mention the poster
boy for left-wing attacks: Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
all the cities affected by illegal immigration, Phoenix
and surrounding Maricopa County stand apart as a place
the past two decades, the Hispanic population doubled,
eventually comprising a third of the county`s population
of 4 million people, many of whom helped build the
booming suburbs sprawling into the desert. About 500,000
residents are estimated to be illegal immigrants, mostly
Mexicans who moved in with relatives or rented
apartments in boxy, pale-colored complexes like
Viridiana`s that line the city`s broad avenues.
the recession hit and Maricopa began topping lists of
counties with the most foreclosures, and Arizona began
topping lists of states with the biggest budget gaps.
And then came the immigration law, which would require
police to check the status of people they stop and
suspect of being in the U.S. illegally. While lawyers
will continue to debate the measure in court, it already
has had a practical, even psychological effect."
Things are bad for Americans. And the presence of
immigrants, legal and illegal, is not going to make the
And here`s the Sheriff Joe hit (is this true?):
"Among its supporters, there is a sense of moral
certitude, a mood championed by the county`s sheriff,
who has become a national hero to some by vowing to
continue his sweeps for illegal immigrants—spectacular
events in which deputies fan out into mostly Hispanic
neighborhoods, at times wearing ski-type masks.
Arpaio called for a citizen `enforcement posse,`
a force of 500 people who will be outfitted, he said,
with their own guns and helicopters.
is why, among Hispanic families, the mood is one of
nervousness verging at times on paranoia. And why
adjustments are being made to hundreds of thousands of
is difficult to know exactly how many people have left,
but anecdotal evidence is plentiful. Enrollment at
predominantly Hispanic schools
has dropped; restaurants and groceries that served the
city`s Hispanic enclaves are closing. People are holding
yard sales every weekend—fundraisers, they say, intended
to precede their departures. Perhaps the most obvious
signs are all the apartment buildings draped with
banners—`Three Months Free!` and `Move-In Special!`—like
so many flags across the city, heralding the change."
Hey, if illegal aliens in Arizona and everywhere are
nervous, I am not the least sad.
They got here illegally. And now it`s time for them to
But for the decades-long abject failure to have a
sensible debate at the Federal level about US
immigration policy, perhaps special cases like this
could receive special treatment. Solid, enforced Federal
laws could stabilize the situation—but the Open Borders
crowd has welched on them time after time.
So here is another immigration sob story—ultimately due
to Federal neglect, greed and deliberate manipulation by
special interests who have the power to override and
ignore the best interests of the American people.
But remember, for every immigrant sob story, there are
many more examples of American citizens in trouble, out
of work, sick, etc.
They just don`t get front page coverage on one of
America`s leading papers—or the attention of the pols
Americans are damn mad. They should be. And this sort of
sob story makes us even madder—because we know why it
happened, and why our government continues to ignore us.
Donald A. Collins [email
him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.