>Media Shun ‘Illegal Alien’ Designation
Ingmar Guandique, recently charged in the 2001 slaying of Washington, D.C. intern Chandra Levy, is an illegal alien — a fact that has been widely ignored by much of the mainstream press.
“The designation of Guandique — who entered the U.S. illegally in 2000, was convicted of two nonfatal attacks on women and incarcerated — has reignited a debate over whether a person’s immigration status is relevant to the story,” conservative activist Howard Phillips writes in his Issues and Strategy Bulletin.
“Journalists also are debating whether the words ‘illegal’ and ‘immigrant’ are too loaded to use in an already emotionally charged story.”
Phillips — chairman of The Conservative Caucus, an advocacy group — notes that the National Association of Hispanic Journalists has campaigned against the use of the word “illegal” in copy and headlines, saying it “stereotypes” undocumented people.
I would just tell the Hispanic journalists to go to college and learn how important it is to be precise when reporting. When we use the word alien we mean someone not of this country or foreigner.
Years ago when “illegal alien” became popular and well used, we could have said “illegal foreigner” and now people would be having a problem with that innocuous terminology, too. When we say “illegal” we mean they didn’t follow the rules to get here.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. Let the chips fall where they may. If there is electricity in the air it was caused by the illegal alien. If it was a murder and someone was killed we’d call that person a victim. There are other words, but not one that exactly fits the bill. For example: oppressed, tricked, abused, destroyed, the ridiculed or the the teased, gun-downed, target, or sacrificed. Satisfied?
But Brent Baker of the Media Research Center said: “Too many journalists don’t want to provide ammunition to those who want stricter immigration laws, so avoid connecting illegal immigrants to evidence which will bolster the argument that illegals cause harm.” Why, in these cases sometimes they do. In a lot of cases, in fact. It’s not coincidental. Some of these come to the U.S. to do harm.
I’m with John Solomon, executive editor of The Washington Times, when he states: “The suggestion that immigration status somehow is irrelevant or should be treated like race in a crime story seems flawed. Being white or black or Hispanic or Asian isn’t a crime. Entering the country illegally is.”
Phillips, who has run for president three times as the candidate of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, said The Washington Post referred to Guandique as a “Salvadoran day laborer,” ABC News called him an “incarcerated felon,” and CNN said he was a “jailed laborer.”
MSNBC called Guandique an “imprisoned Salvadoran immigrant,” CBS News and the Los Angeles Times said he was a “Salvadoran immigrant,” and The New York Times referred to him as a “suspect.”
The Angst Blogger, Washington Times, Time magazine and USA Today are among those that have called him an “illegal immigrant.”
Viva la difference!