Immigration And The Media, Part 1

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Because the American media continues to do such an appalling job of covering issues of legal and illegal immigration in the Age of Trump, this blog will start a new series – Immigration And The Media – to shine a spotlight on some of the more insidious ways that the supposedly objective media actually seeks to distort and influence public opinion on the matter.

 

Apparently it takes a Canadian to highlight the cowardice and incompetence which has characterised the American political elite’s mismanagement of immigration policy, and the duplicity of much of the American press who then cover the subject with such overt bias.

Margaret Wente, writing in the the Globe and Mail:

But many of those who anguish about the crackdown have no one to blame but themselves. Immigration policy hasn’t been enforced for years. The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States now stands at around 11 million. (How would you feel if Canada had a million or more illegal immigrants who could receive education, health care and welfare benefits?) Republicans and Democrats alike have been both unwilling and unable to control the country’s borders. The consequences have been borne by ordinary people, not them. When the ruling classes so miserably fail to do their jobs, what you get is Mr. Trump.

America’s mainstream media project an idealized view of immigration as an enduring cornerstone of U.S. greatness. To them, the present will be exactly like the past. Immigrants are portrayed as hard-working strivers whose kids overcome incredible hardships, join the mainstream and go to Harvard.

Some of this is true. But there’s another side. Unchecked illegal immigration has also brought a massive influx of poorly educated, unskilled workers who rely on costly social services and do not exhibit the economic mobility of earlier immigrant waves.

More:

The main beneficiaries of current immigration policy are affluent professionals – who now enjoy an entire servant class of nannies and gardeners – along with businesses that can employ meat-packers and other unskilled labourers at rock-bottom wages. The hardest hit are unskilled native-born Americans who’ve suffered wage declines, job displacement and de-unionization. These people are disproportionately African-American, and many have simply left the job market.

[..] Obviously, there’s no quick fix for problems that have been made infinitely worse by elite negligence. Americans need to decide how to deal with all those illegals. (Even hardliners agree that mass deportation is not an option.) They need to restore control over who gets in. And they need a legal immigration system that’s a lot more like Canada’s. All this, against a background of nativist resentment, xenophobia and racism whipped up by a populist demagogue. And perhaps the worst part is that they brought it on themselves.

Yes. This is a problem that America’s political and media elite – the very people currently found rending their garments, wailing about their supposed persecution at the hands of the authoritarian Trump regime and warning of Kristallnacht-style pogroms aimed against All Immigrants – brought entirely on themselves.

Both political parties were complicit in an unspoken agreement to look the other way and tolerate an intolerable status quo with regard to illegal immigration – intolerable for those who naively expected their government to enforce US immigration law, and intolerable for those millions of people whose presence the elite allowed, even welcomed, so long as they were willing to accept living in a perpetual state of fear, insecurity and illegitimacy as the price for remaining in America.

Meanwhile, America’s prestige journalists and the punditocracy – people who would have been consistently exposing these failures and evasions over the past thirty years (dating back to the last illegal immigration amnesty) had they chosen to actually do their jobs instead of sucking up to power – chose to abuse their platform by taking every opportunity to cynically equate legal and illegal immigration, and to act as though attempts to crack down on the latter are the same as a xenophobia-fuelled attack on the former (at least when enacted by a blowhard Republican president).

The American media bears a huge portion of responsibility for the current impasse on immigration reform and enforcement – their deliberately skewed and manipulative coverage has helped to ensure that many on the Left now see any attempts at enforcing sensible border protection as being an inherently racist attack on all immigrants, and enraged many on the Right to the extent that they have been pushed into the arms of fake news, “populist demagogues” like Donald Trump, or both.

But don’t expect the self-involved media to spend many column inches dwelling on their failure – especially when there is a far more attractive bogeyman  in the White House.

 

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5 thoughts on “Immigration And The Media, Part 1

  1. Chauncey Tinker March 1, 2017 / 11:56 AM

    Well said Sam. The MSM throughout the West has been wilfully misleading the public about the realities of the various migration crises. Its gone so far wrong on this that I really expect the current MSM will soon not be very mainstream any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Samuel Hooper March 1, 2017 / 1:51 PM

      Cheers. This is my concern – that nearly all of the major news outlets, by virtue of their sheer stubbornness in continuing to push politically skewed messaging through their news reporting, will lose all credibility with half the population. We are already well on the way. It might not matter so much if some other outlets were stepping up, with the resources to open news bureaux around the world and do investigative journalism, but we are nowhere near critical mass. And that only leaves the bloggers (like me) who ultimately still rely on mainstream media news as a primary source, or actual fake news websites created out of malice or the desire to monetise people’s confirmation bias.

      I would be a lot happier about the mainstream media’s slow-motion suicide (Lord knows many prestige outlets deserve to fail) if I saw something remotely viable to replace them. Tricky…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Clive Lord March 1, 2017 / 12:35 AM

    Welcome back? Relevant to your new topic, a world basic income movement has just been launched. At the moment it does not mention migration, but as an intending member I shall be suggesting that help for people NOT to need to uproot themselves might be money well spent by countries whose indigenous populations think there are too many immigrants.
    However, my real reason for welcoming you back is curiosity on your silence these days on Brexit. I know you have read my blog, and I have quoted J M Keynes as saying “If the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do”.
    The facts post referendum are not what anyone expected.
    http://www.clivelord.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Samuel Hooper March 1, 2017 / 12:44 AM

      Many thanks Clive for the kind welcome back, it’s good to be back (albeit blogging less frequently than before). You’re right to note my recent silence on Brexit – this has a lot to do with my resigned despair at the way that the government, Parliament in general and the media have failed to step up to the challenge and educate themselves to a sufficient degree that they can acknowledge basic realities and grapple with the challenges and tradeoffs at hand. If you’re curious to know my current views, they track very closely with what Pete North is currently writing (peterjnorth.blogspot.co.uk)

      As for “if the facts change”, you know that Brexit was never an economic question for me. It was a point of principle about sovereignty and democracy. I was not naive enough to believe that Brexit would inevitably lead to sunlit meadows and pastures – all I know is that with Brexit we at least have a chance to renew our governance and constitutional settlement, and without Brexit there is no such chance.

      I have yet to see any new fact emerge which suggests that the European Union is in fact an entirely benign and kindly organisation, or that its principal architects did not continually lie and deceive their respective populations as to the true nature of the project. I see no new facts which suggest that the EU is amenable to wide ranging root-and-branch reform after all. No new facts that suggest that concentrating power at a supranational level to which hardly any citizens truly feel a deep sense of affinity or fealty is a good idea, or beneficial for democracy.

      Have the “economic facts” changed? Only if you believed everything that was written on the side of the Vote Leave bus, or written in the government’s dodgy pro-EU propaganda leaflet. I spent the campaign fighting against such misinformation, but my reasons for supporting Brexit are unchanged and have not yet been undermined by the emergence of any new facts.

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      • Douglas Carter March 1, 2017 / 9:09 AM

        ‘No new facts.’

        Arguably there is a new fact at hand that has become clear since June 23. It’s something of which many of us had justified advance suspicions, but the vote result lent itself to a gratifying degree of fog clearance.

        In spite of multiple EU-related referendums on offer variously from Labour (three, in the past twenty years), the LibDems (two) and of course the Conservatives (two, again), it has become unambiguously apparent that the individual party leaders offering these Referendums had no intentions of legislating for a result which didn’t go their way. Most likely had no intentions of holding these disparate Referendums in the first instance. That Cameron did so was due mostly to an unexpected electoral anomaly, less than enthusiastic intent.

        Since the midsummer, almost incredibly, many of these long-term pro-EU figures have even fallen back on the old verbal crutches. ‘EU is not perfect and needs reform’ etc. During the Campaigns of last year, it seems to have been forgotten, that a number of MPs and pro-EU Campaigners divested themselves of this particular stance and asserted they couldn’t even see any need for reform, and that the EU was pretty much fine as-was. But to fall back on ‘EU needs reform’ seems to be the definitive case of a wanton refusal to face facts. The EU is not going to reform. One of its most major members and contributors has voted to leave – and there is still not the remotest sign of reform. Not even what might be termed as an inquest?

        In the case of UK Governance, the Referendum has made apparent that which many of us had long concluded. That there had been a permanent loss of political comprehension, competence and conduct in Parliament and its associated bodies and instruments. We would have inevitably seen the symptoms of this at some point even had a ‘Remain’ vote been returned last year. The ‘Leave’ vote was an electoral equivalent of the great storm of 1987, an event which destroyed acres of long-weakened woodland which had overstayed its ability to remain aloft. Had this storm not hit, then the same trees would have been felled in a similar event at a later date.

        It continues to be lost on many devout pro-EU figures that ‘we’ blame the EU for all our ills. Well ‘we’ (if I can call in the Royal ‘we’ of the Flexcit\Brexit associated blogs) do no such thing. That it is the failure of the Westminster Parliamentary culture that needs an alternative structure, and to construct that new body, the old one must not be artificially sustained in legal obligation to an authority body external to the UK.

        You mention sovereignty and democracy Sam. I think I’ve posted this before, maybe here or elsewhere, but occasionally on some of the EU-sympathetic forums I’ll read an assertion that goes roughly ‘Oh No!!, Not SOVEREIGNTY!’
        To which my reply would normally be ‘Then don’t vote.’ If the idea of accountable democratic representation and sovereignty are, in the eyes of such people, arcane or tediously irrelevant outdated concepts, then there is no logic that they would bother to participate in the chore of placing a vote. If it really doesn’t matter how they are represented, or by whom, and under which terms of reference, then I don’t understand why they would involve themselves in the process which nominates these people?

        Like

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