nina bernstein

Nina Bernstein of the New York Times

The first time I read a Nina Bernstein article, back in 2004, I thought it was from the CPUSA. I was genuinely surprised to later find out that she's a reporter for the New York Times, mostly covering immigration matters.

Mickey Kaus called her the "the most tendentious and biased reporter on the paper". She specializes in presenting heart-warming portraits of poor, oppressed illegal aliens who are happy, cheerful workers until they're viciously forced into hiding or caught up in an immigration raid. While she does occasionally use legally correct phrases such as "illegal aliens", she more frequently uses misleading euphemisms: "longtime immigrant workers who cannot prove that they are working legally", "immigrants who cannot prove that they are here legally", "newcomers", or just plain "immigrants."

She also used as a quote source someone who's an immigration lawyer and who testified to Congress on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association without revealing those facts. Her 02/18/05 piece "License Denials for Immigrants Are Blocked" took nine paragraphs to disclose that she was talking about illegal aliens.

At the last link, she discussed the tribulations of those who use someone else's social security number without even considering the victims of identity theft.

She's repeatedly advocated to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens, nearly oblivious to the possibility that terrorists would obtain such licenses. See also this and this.

Last modified Sep 7, 2014
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Priorities: DOJ goes after college for requiring green card from legal immigrant - 04/17/10

Nina Bernstein of the New York Times offers "John Jay College Accused of Bias Against Noncitizens" (

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Friday against John Jay College of Criminal Justice, alleging that the school engaged in a pattern of job discrimination against noncitizens who were authorized to work.

The lawsuit, considered the department’s first in years to crack down on immigration-related discrimination against noncitizens, says the college violated provisions of immigration law by demanding extra work authorization from at least 103 individuals since 2007, rather than accepting the work-eligibility documents required of citizens, like a Social Security card and a driver’s license...

(Thomas Perez), assistant attorney general for the department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement: “Every individual who is authorized to work in this country has the right to know they will be free from discrimination as they look for a job, and that they will be on the same playing field as every other applicant or worker.”

The college is working out a settlement agreement with the DOJ and with the woman from Korea who kicked off the DOJ's investigation. She had presented the college with a driver's license and a Social Security card but couldn't provide them with a green card since that was in the process of being issued.

The law's the law and if someone thinks that the documentation standards aren't strict enough, work to change the law. However, this helps illustrate the DOJ's priorities. The chances of them going after much bigger fish - employers of illegal aliens, banks that knowingly profit from money that was earned illegally by illegal aliens, and so on - are rather slim.

NYT, ACLU: government covered up deaths in immigrant detention facilities - 01/09/10

Nina Bernstein of the New York Times offers "Officials Hid Truth About Immigrant Deaths in Jail" (link):

Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nation’s immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when The New York Times obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.

But behind the scenes, it is now clear, the deaths had already generated thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry...

...Brian P. Hale, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an interview that the newly disclosed records represented the past, and that the agency’s new leaders were committed to transparency and greater oversight, including prompt public disclosure and investigation of every death, and more attention to detainee care in a better-managed system.

Those documents were obtained by the NYT in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union, and it's a good thing that they uncovered the documents. While the individual situations are definitely tragic and reforms need to be enacted, it also has to be pointed out that a major investor in the NYT is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, and the ACLU is directly collaborating with the Mexican government. Their goal - and the goal of many who will promote the NYT story - isn't simply to highlight government malfeasance in order to enact reforms. Their goal is to prevent as much immigration enforcement as possible.

Hillman Foundation awards: illegal immigration-supporting film, Nina Bernstein, questionable Marcy Wheeler/FDL report - 05/13/09

The Hillman Foundation has announced the winners of their 2009 awards ( and the honorees give us a special peek into a special world, including among them:

DHS fugitive teams mostly picked up non-fugitives (why is Nina Bernstein telling us this? MPI, Wishnie) - 02/03/09

Nina Bernstein of the New York Times (a paper part-owned by a Mexican billionaire) offers "Despite Vow, Target of Immigrant Raids Shifted" (link).

In a way, it's a two part story.

In the first part, there's the story itself, with the not-so-news news is that the targets of fugitive raids by the Department of Homeland Security shifted from dangerous criminals into whatever illegal aliens they found, including those who had not been convicted of crimes.

In the second part, the question becomes, why are Bernstein and all the other not-so-fine people mentioned telling us this, and why does it dovetail so neatly with something that Janet Napolitano is doing?

Regarding the first part, here's the scoop [1]:

But in fact, beginning in 2006, the program was no longer what was being advertised. Federal immigration officials had repeatedly told Congress that among more than half a million immigrants with outstanding deportation orders, they would concentrate on rounding up the most threatening — criminals and terrorism suspects... Internal directives by immigration officials in 2006 raised arrest quotas for each team in the National Fugitive Operations Program, eliminated a requirement that 75 percent of those arrested be criminals, and then allowed the teams to include nonfugitives in their count... In the next year, fugitives with criminal records dropped to 9 percent of those arrested, and nonfugitives picked up by chance — without a deportation order — rose to 40 percent. Many were sent to detention centers far from their homes, and deported.

On the one hand, that's a not-so-shocking example of the Bush administration putting politics ahead of the safety of U.S. citizens: they were attempting to show they were doing something in order to get comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, they were able to deport a fair number of illegal aliens whatever their criminal histories, and that probably had a deterrent effect.

Now on to the second part of the story:

The increased public attention comes as the new secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has ordered a review of the fugitive teams operation, which was set up in 2002 to find and deport noncitizens with outstanding orders of deportation, then rapidly expanded after 2003 with the mission of focusing on the most dangerous criminals.

That directive was released just four days ago, on January 31. Now, suddenly, something playing in to such a "review" appears in the NYT. And, the Migration Policy Institute will be releasing a report tomorrow critical of the program. [2] And, one of the authors of the MPI report is Michael Wishnie of Yale University; he was also involved in helping New Haven distribute ID cards to illegal aliens.

Why is all this happening now? Is it just something in the air, or something else? And, why isn't Nina Bernstein asking those questions? (Hint: because she's an agenda-driven hack).

[1] The figures and documentation were obtained via an FOIA request by Peter Markowitz and his students at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
[2] The NYT continues to maintain that the MPI is "nonpartisan"; nonpartisan groups don't get free ads in the NYT.

Nina Bernstein /NYT agitates against immigrant detention centers - 12/26/08

Nina Bernstein of the New York Times offers "Leaning on Jail, City of Immigrants Fills Cells With Its Own" (link), a six-screen, page-one, nine-months-in-the-making attempt by the NYT to push for an end to immigrant detention and for an amnesty for illegal aliens.

Illegal immigration, ethnic power, idiocy, Nina Bernstein, Toys R Us - 01/06/07

I can't believe I'm posting on such a trivial matter, but: Nina Bernstein of the New York Times is in a slightly more reportarial mood with "First-Baby Sweepstakes Fuels Immigration Debate". It seems that Toys R Us - specifically their Babies R Us subsidiary - sponsors a "1st Baby of the Year Sweepstakes", and this year there were three possibilities:


Nina Bernstein/NYT: Immigration enforcement equals fear - 12/24/06

Our old favorite Nina Bernstein of the New York Times offers "Immigrants Go From Farms to Jails, and a Climate of Fear Settles In". She spends two screens painting a picture of upstate New York dairy farmers and their illegal alien employees living in a state of fear. The poor dear farmers are afraid one of their enemies is going to drop a dime on them to ICE. The poor oppressed illegal aliens are afraid of being taken away in shackles (if the report had audio, it would be of the sound of cattlecars). She even uses the phrase "harvest of fear" and makes a reference to "The Twilight Zone".

She also mentions - but doesn't explore - the role that political corruption plays in lack of immigration enforcement. Instead, she concentrates on the emotional aspects with the clear intent of promoting immigration "reform".

Here's the first paragraph:

As record-setting enforcement of immigration laws upends old, unspoken arrangements, a new climate of fear is sweeping through the rural communities of western and central New York.

It will take a real reporter - and not just a pro-illegal immigration hack - to explore those "unspoken arrangements" and to follow the money. As for Bernstein, this is all we get:

Now, more aggressive enforcement has disrupted a system of official winks, nods and paperwork that for years protected farmers from "knowingly" hiring the illegal immigrants who make up most of their work force.

If the NYT wants to be a real news sources, they'll dispatch someone else to look into those "winks [and] nods", and not someone who's part of the problem.

And, apparently someone's reading the papers:

Others, including the [New York Farm Bureau], pointed to the unusual intensification of the dairy investigation after [Rodney Brown who together with his wife Debbie are dairy farmers in Clifton Springs] was quoted in a Sept. 11 Associated Press account [presumably "Farmers: Harvest raids are badly timed" by Cara Anna which appears to have been rewritten here].

Others mentioned include Marshall Farms, Cliff DeMay, "a large private labor contractor", and:

Maureen Torrey, an 11th-generation grower and a director of the Federal Reserve Bank's Buffalo branch

Looking into the political corruption side of this issue is left as an exercise for a real news source.

Please write public *at* with your thoughts.

Michael Bloomberg: possible illegal alien taxi drivers isn't dangerous - 10/24/06

Michael Bloomberg has yet again let his outright support for illegal immigration interfere with his job of protecting New Yorkers.

Nina Bernstein: illegal immigration opponents are meanies - 06/26/06

The New York Times' Nina Bernstein - a frequent author of pro-illegal immigration propaganda - is back with the three-screener "On Lucille Avenue, the Immigration Debate".

It tells the story of illegal immigration opponent Patrick Nicolosi, who's portrayed as a busy-body who complains to the local authorities about local illegal aliens and who's generally disliked by his neighbors for doi

Hats off to the New York Immigration Coalition - 02/26/05

The New York DMV is trying to prevent illegal aliens [1] from getting New York driver's licenses. If you've been reading the New York Times or the New York Daily News or press releases from various organizations, you might have been confused into thinking that they're trying to prevent all immigrants from getting licenses, but that's not true.

"License Denials for Immigrants Are Blocked" - 02/17/05

The NYT's Nina Bernstein is back with another misleading advocacy piece masquerading as a "news" report.

From "License Denials for Immigrants Are Blocked":

A judge ordered yesterday that the state stop taking away the driver's licenses of immigrants in New York who do not have Social Security cards, saying that the Department of Motor Vehicles is not authorized to enforce immigration law or to make new rules without public notice...


Get out your hankies: Nina Bernstein has another article - 02/17/05

Nina Bernstein - the NYT's answer to Sally Struthers - offers us "Caught Between Parents and the Law". Apparently the barrage of letters to Daniel Okrent have had an effect, because none of the usual euphemisms or outright lies jumped out at me. Nevertheless, I keep getting the feeling that, like other immigration-related sob stories - this story somehow found its way into the NYT with the assistance of the AILA or some similar group.

What the NYT isn't telling you (Part 1 of an infinite series) - 01/17/05

You have to start somewhere, so, let's start with August 19, 2004's "Immigrants Face Loss of Licenses in ID Crackdown" (link) by Nina Bernstein. Please read the following description of one Margaret Stock:

Nina Bernstein: Old Skool NYT - 09/26/04

Nina Bernstein, the NYT's immigration reporter, is truly "Old Skool" NYT. As in: "Meteor to hit Earth; Women, Minorities Hardest Hit."

Her latest piece is "New York Considers One-Year Driving Permits for Immigrants".

From the piece, we learn the following "facts":

- "an immigrant without legal status" is a cute euphemism for the legally-accurate term "illegal alien"...

- there is no difference between "noncitizens" and "illegal aliens"...

"License Crackdown Stirs Sharp Debate at Hearing" - 08/20/04

Since this is a NYT report, the subtextual subtitle appears to be: "Working woman from Westchester County, immigrant workers hardest hit":

[At the meeting] Raymond P.

"Immigrants Face Loss of Licenses in ID Crackdown" - 08/18/04

Oh no. Immigrants are being subjected to some form of crackdown? Let's read this NYT article:

Legislatures across the country have been wrestling publicly with a hot-button issue: whether to make it harder or easier for illegal immigrants to be licensed as drivers.

PIIPP spotted in NYT - 08/14/04

"PIIPP" refers to a "pro-illegal immigration puff piece," and a classic of the genre has been spotted in the NYT.

The author is Nina Bernstein, and the article is entitled "From Immigrants, Stories Of Scrutiny, and Struggle":

As a Muslim immigrant growing up in New York, Navila Ali, 20, felt safe and almost American until Sept.