The Mainstream Media, Immigration and the Ostrich Principle

Unfortunately, silly editorials are a standard feature of today’s mainstream journalism. However, the Washington Post’s editorial board seems to be probing the outer limits of absurdity. It recently published an opinion piece titled “Trump’s Crusade Against Immigrants Is an Attack on America.”

Mainstream reporting on immigration issues tends to be based on the “ostrich principle”: tout the positive aspects of immigration. But when it comes to anything negative, stick your head firmly in the sand.

And that’s exactly what the Post editorial board does in this piece. In essence, its position is this: All immigrants in all circumstances are good for the United States. Therefore, deporting immigrants is bad for America, because it’s bad for the immigrants. If that logic seems a bit circular, that’s because it is.

Apparently, in the bubble of rainbows and moonbeams in which the Post’s opinion editors live, all immigrants are well-meaning entrepreneurs who bring wealth, culture and diversity to the communities in which they settle. They do those mythical “jobs that Americans won’t do,” and “harvest America’s crops, build its cities, care for its young and elderly, and found some of its most buoyant companies.” (To hear the opinion editors at the Post talk, one wonders what hard-working Americans do all day.)

That’s why according to the editorial board, deporting any immigration violators exacts a “humanitarian price,” in “shattered communities and families.” Of course, they either don’t know, or don’t care about, the hundreds of American communities and families that have been shattered by lax immigration enforcement.

They make no mention of:

  • Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal alien who re-entered the U.S. after multiple deportations, then shot and killed Kate Steinle.
  • Sergio Jose Martinez the illegal alien who came back to the U.S. after he was deported multiple times, then viciously raped two women in Oregon.
  • Jose Victor Chaparro-Saenz, the drunk-driving illegal alien who killed 14-year-old Rhyan Moody when he ran a red light and crashed into her family’s car.
  • Rogelio Martinez, the Border Patrol agent who was beaten to death with rocks while investigating an illegal border crossing.

It’s true that you can’t judge a population of millions of immigrants by just a few bad apples. But that’s exactly the point, it is also entirely disingenuous to describe all immigration in laudatory terms while conveniently ignoring the demonstrably negative effects of immigration that have made the news just within the last few weeks.

It’s time that the Post woke up and pulled its head out of the sand. President Trump is doing exactly what Americans expect their chief executive to do, enforcing our laws, rather than ignoring them. In other words, he’s putting the interests of Americans first. Perhaps the Washington Post should do the same.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

1 Comment

  1. avatar

    Jeff Bezos owns the Post. He likes paying his overworked Amazon workers next to nothing while he is among the richest men in the world. He is the exact equivalent of the factory owners of a century ago who wanted an ever increasing flood of foreign workers to keep wages low. Undereducated workers in a modern welfare society are not a recipe for anything but more burdens on the taxpayers and those types of workers are who we admit now, because of family reunification.