Boston Globe Misleads Readers on Immigration Enforcement

One of the lead stories on the July third edition of the Boston Globe looked at how the ICE Secure Communities program unfairly targets illegal aliens. But the Globe’s story is either a fabrication or failed analysis.

The article said “One early evening in May, a Boston police officer arrested Lizandra DeMoura for traffic violations and driving without a license. In another city, she might have been booked and released for a court hearing. But in Boston, the 18-year-old was jailed overnight, taken to court, and handed over to federal immigration agents, who hauled her away in chains. Now she is facing deportation to Brazil.”

The implication in the story on the Secure Communities program is that her arrest and delivery into the hands of the ICE for deportation is an example of what’s wrong with the program. What is missing from the story is the information that if Lizandra was identified in the Secure Communities program it necessarily meant that her fingerprints were on file in the agency. The story says she was brought into the country as a young child. So, how would her fingerprints be on file in ICE? A likely explanation is that she previously was fingerprinted by ICE. That would happen if she were previously detained and ordered deported. That would suggest that she was what is referred to as an absconder, i.e., a deportable alien who has failed to surrender to the government for deportation when ordered to do so. A related question is why she would have been previously detained by ICE, if that was in fact the case. One explanation would be that she had previously been detained by the police for some criminal offense and turned over to ICE.

Of course, there is also the possibility that her case had nothing to do with the Secure Communities program and she was simply identified by ICE as an illegal alien by the local police because of her lack of any valid identification. Bur, in either case, the Boston Globe was doing its readers an injustice to point to Lizandra’s case as an example of a cruel, heartless Secure Communities program.

I award the Boston Globe three Pinocchios for misleading reporting.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).

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