Media Blog

Disclosure for Thee, But Not for Me

The way reporters identify immigration skeptics is always fun to complain about — “Anti-immigrant activists disagreed, saying . . .” — but descriptions of people on the other side is also interesting. Specifically, the MSM often fails to disclose relevant affiliations of immigration expansionists.

For instance, D. A. King is an immigration-control dynamo in Georgia, where he heads the Dustin Inman Society. The Atlanta Journal Constitution did a February 9 story featuring King’s efforts to get an Atlanta-area county to adopt a federal program to prevent illegal employment. (It’s called IMAGE certification, sort of E-Verify-Plus.)

Anyway, King is quoted, and described as “a longtime activist for enforcement of U.S. immigration and employment laws” and “president of the Cobb-based Dustin Inman Society.” Fair enough.

But then the story quotes someone opposing use of the program, calling it “a monumentally stupid idea.” He’s Charles Kuck (pronounced “cook”), and is described merely as an “Atlanta immigration attorney”. But in addition to that, he’s vice chairman of GALEO, an anti-enforcement lobbying group — seems like that would be relevant to a story on immigration enforcement. And this wasn’t a one-time lapse; the paper seems to routinely mask Kuck’s advocacy role, as I wrote a couple of years ago.

Another example of the disclosure deficit among immigration expansionists is Linda Chavez. She routinely writes on immigration, most recently earlier this month, when she retailed smears about the Center for Immigration Studies and other immigration skeptics, ably disputed by John O’Sullivan among others. But in promoting amnesty and unlimited immigration, it would seem relevant to note in her columns that she is on the board of directors of ABM, a building-cleaning and -maintenance firm (originally known as American Building Maintenance) that profits from cheap immigrant labor, especially that of illegal aliens. A few years ago, for instance, her firm was forced to fire 1,200 illegal-immigrant janitors when their status was uncovered by ICE.

What’s more, she used to be on the board of Pilgrim’s Pride, a chicken-processor since bought out by a Brazilian firm. That firm also made extensive use of illegal labor, and was forced to pay millions to avoid prosecution for a conspiracy to employ illegals, a scheme exposed only as a result of the immigration raids that took place late in the Bush administration after the failure of the previous amnesty push.

This financial interest in an expansionist immigration policy is nowhere mentioned in her columns on immigration, a clear example of journalistic malpractice.

Imagine the opposite situation. Say that I were on the board of Corrections Corporation of America, CCA, which runs a number of immigration detention centers. If I wrote a column calling for increased immigration enforcement without mentioning that affiliation, editors and activists would be all over me, and with good reason. But what’s sauce for the restrictionist goose is apparently not sauce for the expansionist gander.

Mark Krikorian — 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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