LatinaLista — The CNN story about U.S. Navy petty officer second class Eduardo Gonzalez was/is heartbreaking.
How this young sailor can’t just worry about his third tour of duty in Iraq, but must also worry about whether or not his wife will be deported to Guatemala while he’s gone, is not just sad but familiar.
Yet, Gonzalez’ story wasn’t the shocker of the CNN article â€” it was the so-called “expert” that the reporters used to quote in the story.
It would be easy to accuse this blogger of being overly sensitive about the person quoted but when random readers commented on it then it’s a good indication there’s another story tangled within the media coverage of the immigration debate.
In the article, the reporters used two sources for the proverbial “balance” always sought when reporting stories.
One source was Lt. Col. Margaret Stock, a member of the U.S. Army Reserves who teaches immigration law at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The other source was Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
At first glance, the two would seem like excellent sources for a story such as this, but it quickly becomes clear that while one offers unbiased expertise the other offers nothing but biased rhetoric that has less to do with Gonzalez and the military and more about their own political/personal agenda.
In an excerpt from the article, it discusses what will happen next with Gonzalez’ wife.
A judge in June granted her a one-year extension to remain in the United States. If her legal status does not change by June 8, 2008, she will have 60 days to voluntarily leave the country or face deportation.
That’s just fine, according to Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which lobbies for tougher laws on illegal immigration.
“What you’re talking about is amnesty for illegal immigrants who have a relative in the armed forces, and that’s just outrageous,” he said. “What we’re talking about here is letting lawbreakers get away with their actions just because they have a relative in the military. … There’s no justification for that kind of policy.”
Yet, instead of balancing such rhetoric, Stock is used to explain the military’s lack of policy in dealing with immigration situations involving family members. In essence, the article is a perfect vehicle for Krikorian to deliver to a wide audience his brand of immigration reform.
As I said, I could be accused of being overly sensitive about his comments but a quick scan of the comments reveals that readers don’t want to hear Krikorian’s rants.
updated 4 minutes ago
Mr. Krikorian’s response is unconscionable! We’re not talking about someone who has a cousin, nephew, son in Iraq. This is a spouse! Unlike her sailor-husband, Mrs. Gonzalez didn’t enter our country illegally. Let her stay!
updated 1 minute ago
Eduardo Gonzalez is an American Hero. He has volunteered for the military for the service our country. I cannot fathom the the reasoning that this patriot and his family are criminals. The young mother has been in the United States for almost twenty years due to circumstances beyond her control. Our country needs brave men like Eduardo to battle the evils around the globe and families like theirs to man the workforce. Our nation should embrace these people as counrtrymen and set aside the ignorant ideology regarding this family as “criminals”. The last time I looked, This country was built on the backs of immigrants andf immigrants have helped to make the United States what it is today. The irrational response of Mark Kirkorian is laughable, maybe he should be deported, I’m sure he comes from a family of immigrants.
updated 1 minute ago
This is the first email I have even written to a CNN article. I am a strong conservative but this case motivated me to respond. The statement by Mark Krikorian offended me. How can he say this about this couple when he is fighting to protect the very freedoms that allows Krikorian to have his job. This couple both came here as young children. Please help them cut through the red tape and make her a citizen. Thank you CNN for posting this article and having a place for people to comment. I hope in some small way this response of mine and others will help this couple.
updated 1 minute ago
First of all thank you Eduardo Gonzalez for serving our country and making it a safe place to live for all of its citizens. Shame on Mark Krikorian and the rest of the U.S government for not using common sense with regards to the immigration issue facing these U.S. Soldiers and their families. For those readers who have no sympathy towards the Gonzalez family, I ask you this question, if a soldier saves your life, and your way of life and prevents your family from being harmed by a terrorist, would you not thank him for doing that? I think yes….and the only way that he would have the ability to do this would be to have the support of his family and the knowledge that they are safe and secure as well. If his family is not safe or secure why should he feel obligated to protect you and your family? Common sense folks…let’s get the U.S Government to use some common sense with regards to this issue.
In the spirit of being fair, there are a few (a very small minority) who agreed with Krikorian but none of them cited his response in their answers â€” not like these few I highlighted.
So what does this mean?
It has several meanings:
1.) For CNN and other news media, there must be more vigilance exercised in using and quoting sources when writing articles about featuring immigration issues. The use of Krikorian as an “expert” and others like him, just because they may be associated with an organization with the term “immigration” in its title, misleads the public into thinking that what is being presented are factual statements devoid of influence.
Unfortunately, the average public who are busy with their lives and don’t take the time to really analyze what they read or hear, absorb the information â€” and repeat it. The overriding fallacy that exists among people is that if it is printed or broadcast, a story must be true.
For that reason, so much misinformation has been able to circulate about the issue that even members of Congress, we see, are susceptible and guilty of passing along the same misinformation.
2.) The readers’ comments reflect that the blanket statement routinely bandied about in this debate that starts with “The American people wantâ€¦” is an invention of organizations like Krikorian’s.
Yes, the American people want immigration reform but it’s clear from these comments that they don’t prescribe to Krikorian’s extreme views.
3.) It means that the American public is slowly realizing and speaking out by affirming that extremist views like Krikorian’s will not go unchallenged anymore. People are waking up to the fact that a few groups have hijacked the humanity and common sense that used to exist in setting U.S. domestic and foreign policy and are speaking out about that loss in greater numbers.
4.) It means there’s hope for Gonzalez and other immigrant soldiers and their families who shouldn’t have to fight two wars at once.