Facts are stubborn things. - John Adams
Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe. - Abraham Lincoln
All we want are the facts. - Sgt. Joe Friday
Despite repeated attempts by pro-enforcement immigration activists, The New York Times continues to mislead its readers about what the Senate amnesty bill (S. 744) passed in June would do if enacted into law.
The newspaper's most recent disregard for facts pertaining to the immigration issue can be found in JonathanWeisman's and Ashley Parker's Jan 28 story "Backing in G.O.P. for Legal Status for Immigrants."
In the story, Weisman and Parker say S. 744 creates a "13-year path" to citizenship; true enough, but millions of illegal aliens in fact would be eligible within 5-10 years. They also repeated the falsehood that certain security measures would have to be in place before any legalization took place.
A note to Ms. Parker (Mr. Weisman chose not to respond, as did Public Editor Margaret Sullivan) raising these points produced this explanation from her:
"Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. That said, we do stand by our original statement that the Senate bill includes "stricter border security provisions that would have to be in place before the immigrants could gain legal status." This is, put simply, true.
"For instance, as we report in this story, while there is no 90 percent effectiveness trigger in the Senate bill, as many Republicans had wanted, "the security measures outlined in the Corker-Hoeven plan must be in place before any immigrant can qualify for legal status." And, as you likely know, the Corker-Hoeven plan that was part of the final Senate deal "calls for a 'border surge' that nearly doubles the current border patrol force to 40,000 agents from 21,000, as well as for the completion of 700 miles of fence on the nation’s southern border."
"I realize there are plenty of people on both sides of the aisle, yourself included, who are unhappy with the Senate legislation. Some conservatives believe the 13-year-path to citizenship amounts to little more than amnesty. Other activists believe that the 13-path and the requirements that must be completed before achieving it — paying back taxes and a fine; learning English; going to the back of the line — are too difficult and unfair.
"And while I certainly respect your decision to disagree with plan outlined in the Senate bill, or the effort currently occurring in the House, that doesn't make the facts of the bill, or the facts of our story, any less accurate.
This in spite of the fact that the e-mail pointed out that two of the Senate bill's authors, Sens. Marco Rubio and Chuck Schumer, have acknowledged that legalization would take place before any enforcement began.
The reporters use of the Corker-Hoeven Amendment that spared the Senate bill from going down in flames to defend their "enforcement first" statement is worthless because the amendment is irrelevant to the immediate legalization provided for in the original bill. Called "Registered Provisional Immigrant Status," this allows successful applicants to work legally and travel outside the country even before they achieve lawful permanent residence or green card status.
So there you have it: Legalization and work permits upfront. Enforcement? Well, we'll see.
It's ironic that these two reporters for what many consider to be the nation's "newspaper of record" can't see fit to print in-your-face facts necessary to understanding legislation that would adversely affect the lives of Americans, perhaps even their own descendants, for decades to come.