Take action now:

Questions for Dara Lind of Vox Media (immigration "cards")

Vox Media is a new, corporate-sponsored [1] venture from Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and others (see those links). One of their not-so-innovations is "cards": a series of blurbs about one topic divided into several pages. It will help their Slate-style target audience pretend they aren't reading a listicle.

One such "card" is from Dara Lind, where she makes some questionable statements about immigration.

I'm not going to link to Vox [2], but some questions for Lind based on her card follow. You're encouraged to tweet @DLind and ask her when she'll answer them and take the corrective steps noted:

1. You refer to "unauthorized immigrants", a term that makes no sense as discussed on the immigration terminology page. Someone can't be "unauthorized" and an "immigrant", because the term "immigrant" is defined by the U.S. as someone here with the U.S.'s permission. To help you understand that, I can't say I'm a French citizen unless the country of France has granted me citizenship. I can't say I'm a Harvard student unless Harvard has admitted me. Or, to look at it another way, we don't call those who just have visitor or temporary work permits "immigrants" because they haven't gone through the process that term entails. The question is: when will you use a legally-correct term such as illegal alien or at least unauthorized alien?

2. You say there's been an "increased levels of deportations in recent years". How do you square that with the admissions from both the Los Angeles Times and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson that Obama has not in fact been responsible for "increased deportations"?

3. You say "[t]here's broad agreement that having educated, skilled immigrants helps the US economy". Even if that's true, how are the benefits distributed? Broadly, or to just a few? Aren't some number of Americans harmed by large numbers of skilled immigrants? When will Vox look at things from their point of view?

4. Besides that, are there downsides to skilled immigration that you can think of? (Hint: see the link)

5. You say "[m]any economists have found, however, that low-skilled immigrants don't necessarily drive down the wages of native workers..." Do lower-skilled illegal aliens and lower-skilled immigrants (actual immigrants this time) do jobs that unemployed Americans could do if the situation were right? Would reducing the number of illegal alien farmworkers tend to increase, leave the same, or decrease wages and working conditions for farmworkers?

6. Do you agree that McDonalds, WalMart, US Chamber of Commerce, Tyson Foods and many other corporations tend to support massive immigration and comprehensive immigration reform? Do those corporations and US Chamber members tend to support policies that increase wages and better workplace conditions?

7. I'm not entirely clear by what you mean by "[i]mmigrants of all skill levels can also boost the economy by spending their earnings back into their communities", yet in one sense that's true of anyone in the U.S. outside of the wealthy: most of their earnings will be spent in their communities. But, if by "communities" you mean "others of their ethnic/racial group located near them", can all racial/ethnic groups concentrate their spending on those like them, or just some racial/ethnic groups? Another possibility is that you're just confused on what remittances are (and how bad they ultimately are). So, which is it?

8. You spend a page providing a somewhat neutral description of the anti-American DREAM Act. When will you discuss the anti-American aspect of that and similar bills? As discussed at the link, that and similar bills let foreign citizens deprive U.S. citizens of college slots and/or discounts. When will you offer a card from the point of view of those harmed by the DREAM Act?

Please take a moment and tweet @DLind to ask her when she'll answer the questions above and take the corrective steps noted. In case you see someone promoting Vox Media's immigration coverage, direct them to this post.

----------------
[1] Prominently featured in the upper right of their pre-launch home page was the news that their launch was sponsored by General Electric.

[2] A search for site:vox.com will bring up several subdomains containing highly questionable - and not in the political sense - content. I don't know if those subdomains are still active, but I'm not going to risk checking them out.

Other tags: question authority

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 19:38 · Importance: 4