Reporting on Walker on Immigration

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Walker and his spokespeople have not been crystal clear on this subject, so confused reporting is not entirely reporters’ fault. Nevertheless, there are a few things journalists should keep in mind on this topic:

1) Walker has not actually said that he wants to reduce the number of legal immigrants coming to the United States.

2) Before writing that Walker “supports limits on legal immigration,” try to think of a politician who doesn’t.

3) “Anti-immigration” and ”against legal immigration” are not neutral descriptions of the view that legal immigration levels should be lower.

4) Before calling advocacy of lower levels of legal immigration a “far-right” position, look at the polls that show around 39 percent of the public holds that position. Maybe even note that in your story, along with the fact that smaller percentages of the public want the higher legal immigration levels that “comprehensive immigration reform” entails.

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