The Corner

Questions Not Worth Asking

The WaPo story on the stigma and ostracism faced by Liberian Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan’s family includes some backstory on various people moving to the United States. But the reporter does not exhibit any curiosity as to how they did so:

In 1995, Troh and Duncan had a son, Kasiah Eric Duncan. Three years later, Troh moved to Boston, leaving her children behind.

How’d she do that?

A civil war in Ivory Coast forced the remaining members of the family to move again, to Guinea. Kasiah, Youngor and, later, Mawhen joined their mother in the United States in 2005 and 2006. By then she was living in Dallas, with another son, Timothy Wayne, now 13 years old.

So she’s lived here since 1998 – the article later states that “Troh has never returned to Liberia.” Did she win a green card through the Visa Lottery? Did she have a relative here who petitioned for her through one of the family immigration categories? Or (the most likely route, since she left her kids behind for at least seven years) was she an illegal-alien visa overstayer? Seems like something a reporter might want to know. Except that hatefacts like the legal status of Duncan’s various relatives and associates (in addition to the near-certainty that he intended to become an illegal alien himself by overstaying his visa) might add to the “stigma,” and thus should not even be explored, let alone published.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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