NPR has been on a pro-illegal immigration kick lately, and one recent example is the completely absurd "Illegal Farm Worker Becomes Brain Surgeon"  from Michel Martin's "Tell Me More" show. The problem with the story isn't the brain surgeon's compelling personal tale, it's that NPR is engaged in obvious propaganda rather than anything remotely approaching journalism.
NPR is no better than dozens of organizations that are paid money to advocate for higher immigration levels. Instead of looking into underreported aspects of immigration that involve billions of dollars, NPR simply attempts to pull their listeners' heartstrings to push a loose immigration agenda.
Thankfully, there's a fix for NPR's journalistic failings. That involves using the Question Authority plan to really press NPR representatives on their immigration coverage. For instance, go to one of Michel Martin's public appearances and ask her one or more of these questions:
1. Approximately how many Mexican immigrants (legal or illegal) go on to become brain surgeons? It's got to be a very small number, doesn't it? If we let in the large number of Mexicans who'd move to the U.S. if they could, exactly how many of them would become brain surgeons? On the other hand, if we let in the same number of Asians, how many of them would become brain surgeons? Wouldn't we end up with many more brain surgeons from Asia than from Mexico? So, if obtaining brain surgeons and other top professionals is our goal, shouldn't we focus on Asian immigration? If we want skilled immigration, then shouldn't we focus on Asian immigration in order to get the highest percentage of skilled people?
2. For every one Mexican immigrant (legal or illegal) who goes on to become a brain surgeon, how many thousands or tens of thousands others become criminals? How does that compare with other immigrant groups? For every one Mexican immigrant (legal or illegal) who goes on to become a brain surgeon, how many hundreds of thousands or millions others end up contributing little financially to the U.S.? For instance, a Mexican illegal alien who earns $20,000 a year and who has two kids in public school isn't going to be able to pay even a fraction of the costs of educating his children. How many more people are there like that than there are of those who become brain surgeons or other top professionals?
3. Why would you promote depriving Mexico of a brain surgeon? Mexico is a relatively poor Third World country. Don't they need all the smart people they can keep? Is it moral of you to promote braindraining the world via skilled immigration so that we might have yet another brain surgeon? What are the long-term impacts of braindraining foreign countries? Would Haiti be in the shape it is if all the smart people born there had stayed there? What would happen to Mexico if even more of their smart people left for the U.S., and wouldn't that put Mexico in the position of posing even more of a danger to the U.S. than it does now? If we want what's best for the U.S. (rather than simply seeking to line our own pockets or obtain political power), don't we want Mexico to become more like Canada, and doesn't braindraining them strongly impede that?
4. The subject of the article describes being poor and hungry in Mexico. But, aren't there billions of people around the world who are in far worse shape? Mexico is a Third World country, but they're richer than many other countries. In fact, there are around five billion people in countries that are poorer than Mexico. Where's your concern for them? Why would you enable giving relatively rich Mexicans a chance to come to the U.S. while in effect denying it to poorer people in, say, Bangladesh or Africa? Even if you falsely think that the solution to global poverty is to let people come to the U.S., even a fraction of the poor people in the world can't come here. So, you have to make a choice. Why would you choose in favor of Mexicans and other Latin Americans over the starving billions in Asia and Africa?
5. Do you have any shame? No, really. Do you ever examine what you do and feel ashamed of being nothing more than a hack who promotes horrible policy?
1/3/12 UPDATE: To underline the point about Mexico needing all the smart people they can get, just 6000 or fewer students in Mexico excel at math.
Sat, 12/10/2011 - 17:09 · Importance: 4