When journalists fail to educate themselves about the issues they are covering they frequently drift across the line separating “hard journalism” and op-ed pieces. And in recent years, immigration reporting has frequently degenerated from serious reportage to uninformed opinion masquerading as news.
A perfect example of this journalistic line-blurring is Akilah Johnson’s recent immigration scare-piece published in the Boston Globe. In an article titled “Schools Push Back Against Trump Transgender, Immigration Stances,” Ms. Johnson reports that Boston area schools “alarmed by Trump” are protecting “vulnerable students.” There’s only one problem, Ms. Johnson’s piece doesn’t make a lick of sense. Why are the school systems alarmed and who are the vulnerable students? Well, that’s where it all starts to get a little fuzzy.
Apparently, the Boston, Brookline, Chelsea, Lexington, Needham, and Revere school systems are steamed because the Trump administration plans to enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act, as written. This alarm is being expressed even though ICE has a stated policy of avoiding enforcement actions at “sensitive” locations such as hospitals, houses of worship, and schools. They’re also upset that Trump hasn’t done enough for transgendered students. What do these two issues have to do with each other? Nothing! But, if you are an open-borders journalist you can disguise your personal agenda by jury rigging a link between immigration and some other contentious social issue and passing it off as legitimate public policy journalism.
Of course, false pretense and minimal research lead to thin stories: The under-eighteen status of illegal alien elementary and high school students doesn’t erase the fact that their parents knowingly broke the law when bringing them here. Unlawfully present minors have always been subject to removal from the United States, although they are clearly not a priority for removal under a recent memorandum issued by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. And they have always received the same generous due process protections as every other alien. Meanwhile – to the limited extent that there is any connection between immigration and transgender issues – even the American Civil Liberties Union has acknowledged that many people who have been persecuted because of their gender identity receive political asylum in the United States. Any journalist worthy of the name should have rooted out those facts and included them in the name of balanced coverage.
Despite the fact that the American public is hungry for accurate informative coverage of immigration issues, the press seems committed to banging out an endless series of immigration sob stories – even if it has to manufacture them.