Mischaracterization of the Immigration Debate

For those major news outlets, like the Washington Post, that regularly cover the immigration debate, it is hard to believe that the mischaracterization of the debate as pro and anti-immigration is not a deliberate ploy to misinform the public.


While there may be a small group who are against all immigration, their numbers are so minimal as to be negligible. Similarly, the number of those who advocate for completely unrestricted immigration is negligible – although, that faction seems to be growing as the share of immigrants in the population is rapidly rising.


The real issue is how much immigration. And, because any limit on immigration necessarily implies that some will be denied the opportunity to immigrate, it also centers on who will be admitted and who will be excluded.


The history of immigration policy is framed by the laws enacted by Congress defining numeric limits and categories of applicants who will be admitted. Those laws have been based on informed judgments as to what is in the interest of the public. And that public interest is undermined when those laws are not enforced.


There can be a valid argument over whether the current immigration laws currently reflect the public interest or should be changed to better reflect that public interest, but that is hampered by the mischaracterization of the issue as one of polar extremes.

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).

1 Comment

  1. avatar

    Sensible LIMITS on the number of people allowed in? That means saying “No” to some applicants. That’s mean. Nice people aren’t mean, so there MUST be Open Borders to assuage their guilty consciences!