Associated Press Contrives Controversy to Favor Anti-Enforcement Immigration Advocates

Please take time to read this detailed but important analysis because it will give you insight into analyzing newspaper bias. 

One of the biggest obstacles FLIMEN faces is bias, omissions, euphuisms and flat-out lies by newspapers.  The worst offender is Palm Beach (Com)Post but the Associated Press (AP) and many other Florida newspapers are not far behind. 

The article below was written by an Arizona AP writer.  The article was emailed to Miami AP writer Laura Wides-Munoz by FLIMEN VP David Caulkett who has been copying her on articles deemed biased.  In a biased AP article earlier this year she unfairly and inappropriately labeled FAIR as being against all immigration when FAIR was not even at the press conference.  FLIMEN VP Caulkett had called her to discuss the bias and was quickly blown off by her editor and she never had the courtesy to call back.   FLIMEN VP Caulkett has since refused interviews and commenting to her.

Some of the bias techniques of newspapers are:

The article below is a shining example of many bias techniques.  The article contrives a controversy and chastises a hospital for reporting  to authorities a suspected counterfeit document purchased at Wal-Mart.  The anti-enforcement immigration advocates' central point is to smear the hospital with a discrimination allegation over a little understood absurd anti-discrimination law that requires employers to verify a worker's legal status worker AFTER the applicant is hired.  The hospital stated that the reporting of suspected illegal activity was rarely done and the hospital did not indicate that their normal hiring process was contrary to law.  The entire purpose of the article, as exemplified by the headline, was to chastise the hospital for reporting a suspected counterfeit document.  Considering our massive document security problem it was irresponsible, contrived and biased for AP to write an article on this one little incident.

The first e-mail reply from AP writer Laura Wides-Munoz claimed the article was "balanced."  Her subsequent reply was "I agree there could have been more enforcement perspectives offered in this story. I will bring it up."  FLIMEN's Caulkett final response was:

"That's all you have to say???  You'll bring it up?  To the same editor who blew off my comment that the AP had bias in your  article that FAIR, an organization that wasn't even at the Tallahassee press conference, was unfairly and inappropriately labeled as being against all immigration? You had no problem saying the article was balanced so you should have the analytical ability to respond in more detail to my comments!!  Sounds like a cop-out to me!!" 

The indented green-coded paragraphs in the analysis below was written by FLIMEN VP Caulkett.  Some text about  green/red coding to indicate bias has been removed from the original for clarity.  FLIMEN contents that number of paragraphs favoring anti-enforcement vs. pro-enforcement is 15/3, a count disputed by Ms. Wides. 


Hospital chided for reporting illegal applicant 

Take a look at feedback on the article at and it is likely that many respondents would have preferred a title  "Hospital APPLAUDED for reporting illegal applicant."

Published: Monday, September 1, 2008 CARROLLTON, Texas -

Maria Martinez' attempt to land a cafeteria job at a suburban Dallas hospital got her arrested, jailed and deported. 

The whole story is based on the sorrow of an illegal alien but not one mention of the sorrow of those whose identity was stolen.  Actually "Identify Theft" is one more soft term that should really be categorized as "financial theft" and "citizenship cloning." 

She did use a counterfeit social security on her application to Trinity Medical Center, but her relatives and supporters wonder whether the hospital overreacted by calling the police. 

The AP fails to mention that the violation is a federal felony!  Our illegal immigration crisis as presented by the AP and newspapers focus on the plight of illegal aliens but the ancillary felony violations like counterfeiting are almost always ignored.

During yet another year marked by several high profile immigration raids targeting both undocumented workers and the companies who hire them, the Martinez case raises questions about what employers can or should do if they discover an applicant is not authorized to work legally in the U.S. 

The AP is trying to dissuade employers from reporting counterfeit documents and this is the heart of the story.  The law indeed prohibits employers from checking immigration status before hiring.  That is an absurd law.  The AP should expose the absurdity of vetting an employee AFTER hiring.  The law does not make it illegal for an employer to report a suspected felony to authorities. 

For those who know anything about this issue know that "undocumented workers" is inaccurate political correctness.  As in this case the alien was highly documented with fraudulent documents our government readily accepts. 

Here is some data from my site

The correct terminology for the nearly 20 million persons illegally in the U.S. is illegal aliens.   The term undocumented immigrants is purposely incorrect in order to sway the public in favor of special interest groups and only clouds the reality of the situation.  Most undocumented border crossers never had a document to lose.  The incorrect and understated implication is that legal status can be achieved merely by completing some paperwork.  By law the illegal alien must leave the country in order to apply through the proper immigration procedure.

The politically correct term undocumented immigrant started with former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) Commissioner Leonel J. Castillo during the Carter Administration (1977-81).  The word undocumented wormed its way from  the widely discredited and now defunct INS to politically-correct media, cheap labor corporations, ethnic vote pandering politicians,  and pro-illegal alien 'rights' organizations, many of which are race biased.  Even the highest officials including President Bush and former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt pander to the extent they even call illegal aliens citizens.

An alien is a person who comes from a foreign country. The term illegal alien is broader and more accurate because it includes undocumented aliens and non-immigrant visa overstayers.  An undocumented alien is an individual who has entered the U.S. illegally, without  entry documentation.  Any alien who violates the terms of his or her admission may be deemed to be out of status.  Becoming out of status occurs when a nonimmigrant remains in the United States beyond the expiration date of their visa or when a nonimmigrant engages in employment in the United States for which she is not authorized.  Roughly 60% of the illegal alien population are undocumented aliens and about 40% are non-immigrant visa overstayers.  Thus, the term illegal alien, being broader in scope, is the accurate term to use.

In that immigrant connotes legality, the term illegal immigrant is really an oxymoron. Even though common usage of immigrant has been broadly applied to those illegally in the U. S., such usage is incorrect for the following reasons:

  1. Dictionaries define immigrant as "a person who comes to a country to take up PERMANENT residence." Thus, the term immigrant does not always apply to transient illegal aliens who frequently cross the porous U.S. border.  Further, without amnesty or other change of status, illegal aliens are subject to deportation and have no legal assurance of permanent residency.

  2. Many visas are classified as nonimmigrant visas including the J-1 visa for exchange students.  Many foreign students overstay their nonimmigrant visa and then are inaccurately called an illegal immigrant.  How does expiration of a non-immigrant visa make that person an illegal immigrant?  A person who overstays a nonimmigrant visa should be properly described as an illegal alien.

  3. The U.S. Census Bureau categorizes foreign-born as follows:

  • Naturalized U.S. citizens

  • Legal permanent residents

  • Temporary migrants

  • Humanitarian migrants

  • Unauthorized migrants

Although the Census Bureau does not have the courage to use the category illegal aliens the important point is that "Unauthorized migrants" are NOT categorized as immigrants.  Immigrants, by definition, are legal and illegal aliens, by definition, are illegal.

A poll taken in early 2004 by Andres McKenna Polling and Research found that 73 percent saw noncitizens as "illegal aliens," while 25 percent saw them as "undocumented workers."   Yet how often do you read newspapers or hear politicians use the term "illegal aliens"? 

A spokeswoman for the medical center here contends the hospital was simply following policy and has a responsibility to report criminal activity, including possible identity theft.

It may be hospital policy, but employers aren't required to report a worker or applicant suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, say immigration attorneys and enforcement officials. 

Had a pro-enforcement advocate been solicited for comment, perhaps the comment would be one of gratitude for doing a civic duty to uphold the rule of law.  Note that the attorney did not say the hospital policy was not wrong, just not required. 

"For an employer to go ahead and take it upon themselves .. to report that is unusual," said immigration attorney Kathleen Walker. "There's no obligation on my part to go call law enforcement." 

Had a pro-enforcement advocate been solicited for comment, perhaps the comment would be one of gratitude for doing a civic duty to uphold the rule of law.  Note that the attorney did not say the hospital policy was not wrong, just not required. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok agreed, saying employers and local police typically don't have the training needed to determine whether someone is in the country illegally. 

I have no faith that AP really printed what the agent said.  However, he agreed only that the action was "unusual" which is no confirmation of wrong doing by the hospital.  Further, the ICE agent does NOT state that he does not "fully support" the hospital as you allege.  Suspicion and determination of counterfeit documents are different but the AP and anti-enforcement advocates do not acknowledge the difference. 

Carrollton's mayor has emphasized that one of his priorities is to rid the city of illegal immigrants. The neighboring suburb of Farmers Branch has unsuccessfully tried to prohibit landlords from renting houses and apartments to tenants who cannot prove they are in the U.S. legally. 

The prohibition of renting seemingly has legal problems, but AP of course mentioned a failure of minor enforcement issue instead of many of the successes. 

But hospital spokeswoman Susan Watson said the decision to report Martinez had nothing to do with the immigration debate in suburban Dallas. The hospital reported what it considered a crime, she said. 

"Regardless of whether they were an illegal alien, legal immigrant or an American citizen, it still wouldn't have mattered. They still would have been reported," she said.

Watson said it was the first time in at least two years that the hospital reported a possible crime involving a worker or applicant to police. But officials are always on alert because many employees have access to patients' medical records and other private information, she said.  

Immigration attorneys and advocates are concerned that many employers have become overly cautious, to the point that they might be bending or breaking the law. 

This is vague and implicates wrong doing.  Plus, had a pro-enforcement advocate been solicited they might have said employers are not cautious enough. 

"When people are being prescreened before a decision to hire is -  being made, then you could have exposure to discrimination charges," said Walker, an El Paso lawyer and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. 

The law indeed prohibits employers from checking immigration status before hiring.  That is an absurd law.  The AP should expose the absurdity of vetting an employee AFTER hiring.  The statement is an attempt to smear the hospital for a alleged violation of the absurd law that prevents employers from checking immigration status BEFORE hiring.  The hospital stated that this was an exception due to a suspected counterfeit document that was reported to authorities to ascertain.  Presumably the hospital normally follows the practice wherein an employee's immigration status is checked after hiring. This contrived controversy pits the absurd law against reporting of one suspected counterfeit document. 

Recent workplace raids around the country have increasingly led to prosecuting unauthorized workers for identity theft and use of someone else's social security number. But those prosecutions have stemmed from federal investigations into workers at specific companies, not calls from an employer to local police. 

More garbage from AP because "citizenship cloning" via counterfeit documents is massive compared to the very few prosecutions.  The very few prosecutions may be from "federal investigations into workers at specific companies" but it is perfectly appropriate to report violations from other avenues.

Still, such raids have left employers edgy, said Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute at New York University School of Law. 

No comment from a pro-enforcement advocate. 

"I think employers are beginning to feel the pinch and in many cases I think they are trying not only to be sort of extra cautious but ... to be pre-emptive," said Chishti. "What's troubling is that employers have taken it upon themselves the job of ascertaining whether a crime has been committed." 

The AP gives credibility to a pro-enforcement advocate's smear without a pro-enforcement advocate's statement.  The truth is that the hospital did not "ascertain" but merely reported a suspected violation for the authorities to ascertain.   This is just the same old "vigilante" angle.

Martinez, a single mother of a 3-year-old son and a teenage daughter, acknowledged buying the social security card for $110 at a Wal-Mart., according to police records. She also had a second social security card and two counterfeit cards stating she was a legal permanent resident. 

You're right that this should have been expanded upon. Plus, the AP failed to acknowledge three more felonies.

She had planned to fight the state charge, but after being held in jail for nearly three weeks, she agreed to be deported to Mexico. Her son joined her there. 

There is no mention that she avoided a felony prosecution.  Document security should be a HUGE issue but is being ignored by the AP and newspapers.  Document security should be an issue as big an issue as border security, but is not. 

"She told me to please forgive her," said Martinez' 19-year-old daughter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she also is in the U.S. illegally. "She told me she wasn't strong enough to fight." 

A great sob conclusion to a biased, inaccurate piece of garbage AP article that chastises the hospital and completely avoids the negative effects of document counterfeiting upon citizens as well as other problems such as the absurd law where employers must check the immigration status AFTER hiring.

September 3, 2008