GUEST EDITORIAL: Standing ovations then — racist today

Dan Hammes

It is not often that the Washington Post will cite the pitfalls of uncontrolled immigration.

And they are not alone.

Typically the reporting by the Post – and network television and the New York Times – tends to take the gracious line toward immigration.

That is, most reporting has to do with the hard-working immigrants who are simply trying to better their lives and secure a better future for their families. And it is a rare report indeed that does not include the obligatory sentence or two about all those taxes paid by immigrants.

All of which is true.

The vast majority of illegal immigrants who come to the U.S. come here to work hard, earn money and improve their lives.

Two things stand out in this reporting from these outlets.

First, rarely is the distinction made between legal and illegal immigration. Instead reporters simply bunch the two together, as if there is no difference between guest workers who secure the proper documentation to work here and illegal immigrants who storm the border.

Second, reporting about problems caused by uncontrolled immigration is scarce. And we’re not talking only about gangs, the drug trade or horrific crimes, of which there is no shortage. The more mundane problems include the cost of education that includes larger class sizes and providing health care and other benefits provided to illegal immigrants, is never tabulated.

Reporters instead fixate on all the taxes they pay.

And we get it, and just to be safe and to dodge the obligatory charges of racism – the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants are good people.

But it is also true that the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens are good people.

And that – the impact of unfettered immigration on U.S. citizens – is what takes us back to the news story in the Washington Post that cited one of the major consequences of uncontrolled immigration.

Of course, the reporter did not intend to cast a bad light on illegal immigration – at least illegal immigration into the United States.

Remember, they pay taxes too you know.

This report had to do with the impact of immigrants flooding back to Mexico.

Seriously. Not kidding. The report was about the consequences of so many illegal immigrants – deported from the United States – being returned to Mexico.

Here’s how the reporter explained it: More returnees means lower wages for everyone in blue-collar industries, such as construction and automobile manufacturing, where competition for jobs is likely to increase, economists say.

So … all these ‘immigrants’ flooding back to Mexico is bad for workers there – but when they come to the United States – it is good for us?

One would think at least one editor at the Washington Post, where illegal immigration is the epitome of All Things Good, would have noticed the hypocrisy.

What is perhaps most striking about illegal immigration is how the media have changed the coverage of the issue. Today, when a politician dares to be critical of illegal immigration, charges of racism and xenophobia are soon to follow.

But that was not always the case.

There was a time when politicians could state the obvious without charges of racism.

There was one politician in particular who made a major speech about the issue. Here is some of what he said:

“All Americans . . . are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country.

The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That’s why . . . (we) have moved aggressively to secure our borders more, by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.

In the budget I will present to you, we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace . . . ”

This politician sounds a lot like Donald Trump today. But this speech is from 1995. It was the State of the Union Address to Congress.

By Bill Clinton.

He got a standing ovation.