NYT: Devastating hurricane hits Gulf Coast; illegal aliens hardest hit

No, it's not a parody. With all the possible coverage of Katrina, the New York Times actually wrote an article on the plight of "undocumented" immigrants in the disaster zone.

From Ian Urbina's "Foreign Workers Are Caught in a Double Trap" (link) (abbreviated version: denverpost . com/katrina/ci_3003983):
BILOXI, Miss., Sept. 5 - Like so many other people here, Pedro, a landscaper from Chiapas, Mexico, is desperately trying to get out of Biloxi. He wants to take his wife, Anna, who is eight months pregnant, someplace cleaner and safer, wherever that might be. [Whereever it might be, it will probably be in the U.S. After all, he's just one month from an anchor baby, and why spoil that opportunity? -- LW]

But aside from being low on gas like everyone else, Pedro, who would not give his last name because he is undocumented, is nervous about traveling in a city swarming with police officers and National Guard troops...
I repeat: this is not a joke. This is an actual NYT article.

Please send a short, polite email to public *at* nytimes.com suggesting they not print self-parodies.

UPDATE: For those who aren't familiar with this subject, various newspapers including the NYT have published an endless list of pro-illegal immigration puff pieces: PIIPP. The fact that the NYT found the time to print yet another pro-illegal immigration article during Katrina is the point here.

"Liberal" visitors might want to spend a few minutes or hours thinking about this comment from another "liberal":
Do you really want to toil in unsanitary, unsafe, underpaid fields to feed your family?
Why is that something that "liberals" like the NYT should support?

Why not support ending illegal immigration and all of its associated abuses and public and private corruption?

By supporting illegal immigration, "liberals" end up supporting the Bush administration and its corporate backers' desire for cheap labor. They also end up supporting ethnic nationalists and the Mexican oligarchy's desire to pawn off their excess population.

Hopefully I'm not asking too much to expect "liberals" to be able to think things through.

UPDATE 2: Apparently it is asking too much. The NYT article is a news report with propagandistic components. That propaganda is designed to make illegal immigration respectable, even desirable.

As for the "such a preposterous assertion venomously" etc. sentence, that's in a comment. It was never in the post.

While I've now added two updates to this post, I haven't modified it or deleted parts of it, and I haven't deleted or modified any comments. No, I think the comments from the "liberals" below are quite informative. Like Howard Dean, let them speak.


Seriously Lonewacko, are you retarded?

Are you absolutely sure it's not a joke?

Because normally I find the sufferring of poor people to be incredibly amusing. ( And arousing! )

In fact, I can't maintain an erection without hearing the tortured screams of the innocent. Do you think I'm abnormal?

p.s. I like to watch Fox News.

""In fact, such a preposterous assertion venomously slanders the eloquent functioning of a well greazed, unencumbered market."
Still looking for this sentence.It certainly is an odd construction.

LoneWacko, you are a pathetic bag of slime. You mock the news coverage of people because they're illegal immigrants. As if the suffering of people is some kind of joke because of their immigration status.

You make me sick, you disgusting little puke.

""In fact, such a preposterous assertion venomously slanders the eloquent functioning of a well greazed, unencumbered market."
Where is this sentence? Apparently it was removed.

How does reporting on the suffering and desperation of Hurricane Katrina victims who are undocumented workers -- and noting that their desperation is complicated by their undocumented status -- make the Times "pro-illegal immigration?" Does reporting on the suffering of hurricane victims with diabetes and other chronic illnesses, and pointing out the ways those illnesses complicate efforts to survive and recover, as many media outlets have done, make the reporting "pro-diabetes" or "pro-chronic illness?"

Of course not.

Your objection here isn't to the Times taking a "pro-illegal immigration" stance -- because it has done no such thing. (Quite the opposite -- the article highlights how being in this country illegally makes dealing with the hardship of events like Hurricane Katrina even more difficult.) Your real objection is to the fact that the Times' reporting treats undocumented workers like human beings.

Lone Wacko.com? Kudos to truth in advertising.

As an aside, and I admit that this post is motivated entirely by malice, this is truly an awful sentence:

"In fact, such a preposterous assertion venomously slanders the eloquent functioning of a well greazed, unencumbered market."

i don't mean that sentence is awful as in immoral or unintelligent, although it is certainly those things as well. i just mean it is truly terrible writing. it sounds like the author was really trying to put in complex-sounding words when the author doesn't really know how to use them. for example, it's very unclear what the author means by "slander", the definition of which is:

A false and malicious statement or report about someone.

So the idea that we are our brothers keeper makes a false and malicious statement about the market? I'm not sure if an idea can slander, exactly, at least in a gramatically correct sentence; it generally takes a human being to act maliciously. But it seems like a particularly bizarre statement to suggest that the statement that we are our brothers keeper can act in such a way, especially since it doesn't obviously refer to the market in any way.

And then the really ugly awkward phrase "eloquent functioning of a well-greazed, unencumbered market". Again, this is bad politics; as anyone with any actual knowledge realizes, immigration is obviously important to capitalism and free market groups are generally for open borders. To the extent that immigrants are a drag on wages in this country, they are that way because they subvert anti-capitalist measures, such as labor unions and regulations affecting minimum wage and working conditions. But it's also really hideous writing. I've heard of markets described as many things, but eloquent? As in, "characterized by persuasive, powerful discourse"? If this is a metaphor, it's a really bizarre and confusing one. Well greazed?

Anyway, this author is obviously an idiot, probably racist and certainly not worth the time I've wasted responding to this post. I guess it doesn't take much to make the Daou Report these days.

"Free market enthusiasts think that limiting the supply of unskilled laborers willing to work for a pittance will change the dynamics of those conditions"
I won't comment on the rest of the post because the scale of the tragedy is undeniable, not only in NOLA but also in surrounding LA parishes and MS counties;but in the passage above you are wrong:the bulk of the free market ideologues (like the Cato institute)support open borders and treat illegal immigration as benign. Average wages for low-skill workers have been in decline for 30 years and the mass importation of illegal immigrants has no doubt played a significant role in this.

Beyond the left/right distinction, I think we should agree that the conditions illegal immigrants tend to work in are deplorable. Free market enthusiasts think that limiting the supply of unskilled laborers willing to work for a pittance will change the dynamics of those conditions. That may or may not be correct (it could just force the lowest economic stratum of citizens into that role). What is incredibly offensive, however, is that this post objects to the fact that a news article points out that many illegal immigrants will suffer from this catastrophe. This is not an abstract economic argument for indirect quality of life issues. This is an instance of direct emergency humanitarian issues. The Blog poster should have a little more decency considering the hundreds who experienced a horrific death, the hundreds more that will suffer a lingering slow death from disease and dissentary (babies and small children being most at risk), and thousands more who have lost family members and whose lives are in ruin (illegal immigrants, american citizens, black, white, red, yellow, who the fuck cares what color right now, etc.)

wow. i've never seen a post that was so disgustingly inhumane as the OP here. the "preposterous notion" that we should recognize the humanity of illegal immigrants is "slanderous to the market"? Given the choice between being a decent society that cares whether poor people live or die and having an "unencumbered" market, I'll take the former. My roommate is an illegal immigrant. He's also one of the hardest working and nicest guys I know. You, in contrast, are a piece of disgusting moral filth. Your preposterous inhuman notions of right and wrong are slanderous to all moral human beings everywhere.

(and yeah, illegal immigrants provide nothing for society - other than picking our strawberries, cleaning our bathrooms, making our $4.95 Chinatown lunch specials and generally doing all the jobs too crappy and low paying for a citizen to do in the desperate hope to provide a better life for their kids. don't blame me for the fact that they are a drain on income. if it were up to me, i'd give them all amnesty and force companies to provide them with reasonable working conditions).

"Mechanization would look more attractive and some would take place. There are many, many substitution effects for this type of unskilled labor. Similar comments apply for agricultural labor."
Right. The oversupply of low-skill labor lowers wage levels and retards automation, the main engine of productivity growth and increased living standards.For details on some of the jobs that could be automated see: http://tinyurl.com/9fbx3

Matt Blank, if all the Mexican packing house workers were to go back to Mexico, several things would happen. Meat packing wages would go back up to where they were a number of years ago, so that native-born Americans would find them attractive. Meat packers would have to charge more for their product, and so would sell less of it. Mechanization would look more attractive and some would take place. There are many, many substitution effects for this type of unskilled labor. Similar comments apply for agricultural labor. The current situation is a rerun of the importation of cheap foreign labor from Europe around 1906 so eloquently dramatized by Upton Sinclair in his novel "The Jungle." It is unworthy of American employers to depend on this type of labor, a form of latter-day slavery.

Huh, so its a parody to think that living human beings shouldn't die in a hurricane. Interesting. I read the article and as far as I can tell, these people were here to work, not take advantage of "the system." Didn't realize you were against people working for a living.

So basically you think its silly that people with work visas for a specific job be afraid of getting in trouble if they leave the work area because its unsafe and inhabitable. I really hope you are lone in your wacko-ness. No doubt you were born a white male and probably raised in the middle class - the group most likely to bitch about things that seem "unfair."

My only thought:
Would you like to go and pick fruit endlessly day after day so that the rest of America can run to the local supermarket and just grab something?
Would you like to shovel pig entrails into a machine so that we can enjoy hot dogs? You say that illegal immigrants steal jobs from Americans and that they are a burden on the system. But I ask you seriously, do you want their job? Do you really want to toil in unsanitary, unsafe, underpaid fields to feed your family? I think not. So shut up already.

"Left" and "right" have no meaning in real-life US politics. Recall that the leadership of both parties support the Iraq War[just ask Hillary and John Kerry], open borders [the one thing deluded leftist ideologues like about the Bush-Fox regime], and globalization[no matter what the Dem Congressional leadership says the Dems always nominate a "free trader" for Pres]. There is a single "left-right" ruling elite that has no concern for the opinions or the fate of the US citizenry and sees the US not as an historical nation but instead as the nerve center of a economic-military economic empire. The resurrection of the US as a nation seems unlikely outisde the context of a severe economic crisis and a lot of bloodshed.More likely is the transformation of the US into a less fun-loving and more grim visaged version of Brazil with extreme class stratification and the elites barricaded behind barbed wire and armed guards.But Brazil at least has a sense of national identity.

To eh: I've noted that you are quick to list all the burdens that illegal immigration places on states, but you left out the other side. Illegals work for businesses that contribute to our economy. No they don't pay taxes but those businesses do pay taxes. So they do contribute to the economy. I'm not sure what your point is about criminal behavior. I don't think you can reasonably assert that there is an inherent link between being foreign and committing crimes. If you want to crack down on illegal immigration, crack down on the businesses that hire them. Immigrants, legal or illegal are in 99% of all cases just looking for work and people like you choose to demonize them for *GASP* trying to make a living because they can't do it whereever they come from. You wanna stop it? Penalize the agricultural, restaurant, meat-packing and construction industries. Those are the folks who hire illegals. One last thing, what does your original post have to do with anything? Are you implying that illegal immigrants are responsible for the hurricane? The reason there were stories about american muslims after 9/11 was because muslim extremists committed that act. Oftimes people who aren't used to using logic decide that because one or 19 muslims do something terrible that all muslims are evil. News stories that counter this argument are necessary in the face of the racism and extremism that tends to arise in this country.

As for Mr. Lonewacko, are you implying that it is parody to do a story about hurrican victims who are illegal? Does their status as illegal immigrants mean that you believe they should be left to die? Or that they are not human?

"The illegals give a lot more to our economy than they take."

You know, I'm not into the 'liberal' vs 'conservative', or 'right' vs 'left' blanket jeering thing (talk about "self parody"), but besides the fact that, when you consider low wage illegals, many even working off the books, this assertion is pretty dubious, i.e. when you total up all costs, including schools, jails (they are a good deal more likely to commit crimes you know, e.g. about 30% of California's prison population is illegals, and partly as a result of this California spends more on prisons than higher education), medical care for the uninsured in emergency rooms, etc etc, it's a little bizarre to see someone like you, ostensibly on the 'left', making a statement like yours, which implies basically this: It's all about the money. So as long as some private organizations, e.g. businesses, make a profit off of illegals, all the while socializing the costs for the rest of us to pick up, not to mention depressing wages for the least well off Americans, then this somehow makes illegal immigration and all the social problems it brings less or not at all objectionable.


To whom it may concern,

I found this site as a link from a liberal news page.

The internet is wide open and available to all. You should think a little before you print things that expose you as a bigot.

The idea that it is absolutely ludicrous to print ONE story about a group of people who are not American citizens implies that the suffering of these people should go into a journalistic "memory hole". In short, that the very existence of these people should be "disappeared".

Look, we on the left are more than aware that the right-wing blogosphere is largely composed of xenophobia...you shouldn't make it so easy for us to prove.

Steven Richard

God should strike your lying asses down. First of, the hurricane affects ALL PEOPLE white, black, brown legal and illegal...and they all deserve help. Maybe if we took some of that money/help from all the foreign govts offered we could help everybody.

And this is for Thomas who said we are not our brothers keeper, yet wants to tell me who I can fuck, whether my girlfriend can have an abortion etc. Pick a side loser.

If you're going to mention the negros, then let's also not forget the blind and crippled.

Oo, and don't forget the negros!

They been doin' some aweful things too!

I understand from your post that the idea that we are our brothers' keeper is a "liberal myth" and a "preposterous assertion." I could have sworn it was an underlying principle of, oh, I don't know, CHRISTIANITY. You know. That religion that you people keep harping about. I know that "helping people" and "charity" are hard concepts to wrap your head around, but give it a shot.

And if all the undocumented workers were to leave, I think you'd find that all of a sudden, the essential jobs that Americans don't want to do because they are too dirty, degrading, or dangerous would suddenly be left undone.

And please outline exactly how they "threaten our nation's sovereignty." That makes about as much sense as accusing them of witchcraft. Please describe a REMOTELY POSSIBLE scenario whereby our nation loses its sovereignty as a result of immigration. Perhaps BILLIONS of them will flood our country, march on Washington, and remove our government from power.

Why is the NY Times saying these illegals are human beings, when you are so clear they're not?

You are scummy IMO to whine about this.

The illegals give a lot more to our economy than they take.

But don't worry, as the idiots you elect from the right hand our wealth to other nations, the gap between the US and Mexico may shrink to the point that the US becomes less attractive, and you can then suffer the reduced standard of living you so deserve to suffer for your arrogance and inhumanity. What we need are leaders who get elected for good policy, not for wrapping themselves in the flag and demonizing 'liberals' while taking your money for their cronies.

The right is the self-parody today, not the Times.

Wingnut, I want you to hear clearly and unambiguously that you are way out of line!

Your snarky comments imply that there is substance to support the liberal myth of a social contract operating among the participants in American society, that -- to put it very simply -- we're each our brother's keeper, at least somewhat. In fact, such a preposterous assertion venomously slanders the eloquent functioning of a well greazed, unencumbered market.We have no room for stinking aliens! Their needs burden taxpayers and threaten our nation's sovereignty. All of which should not be misconstrued as a denial of the alien's basic humanity, which we uphold as sacred. I mean, they're having babies, aren't they?

And MAN, is Santorum right, when he proposes that the residents who remain in New Orleans, and require federal assistance to accomplish their evacuation, they should be charged full market value for choosing to use this luxury government service.

New Orleans employs a lot undocumented aliens who do the dirty work in the tourist service industry, in the restaurants and hotels. I'm sure we'd all like to have all workers get a fair living wage, right?

Be sure to catch the Katrina timeline at http://tinyurl.com/b7389!

But who is to blame for this disaster? The short version is that the National Response Plan (NRP) + the WH invocation of the Stafford Act on Aug. 27 made Katrina an "Incident of National Significance." This is significant! It means all this mewling and claims of federal powerless (because Blanco didn't say pretty please etc.) are just self-serving and misleading BS.

It means FEMA had full authority and responsibility to do all in its power TWO DAYS BEFORE Katrina hit. It also means it had full power and responsibility to put in place resources PRIOR to the hit, and that included getting medical and food/water resources to the Superdome, which had already been designated as a refuge.

Plenty more here from a fact-laden post at Kos: http://tinyurl.com/79jym

The bitter irony is that the NRP was crafted by DHS to eliminate the very bureacratic snafus that DFS is trying to hide behind now -- which largely didn't exist anyway. If state and local politicians weren't up to the job, if one of the poorest states in the union didn't have adequate resources, or if all the local resources were obliterated in a nuclear attack, FEMA was empowered and obligated to take charge.

If state and local pols were incompetent, MIA, or AWOL, then all the more reason for FEMA to have taken charge -- as Blanco made possible on Aug. 26!

I believe the federal non-response was criminal, and resulted in the unnecessary loss of thousands of lives. Yeah, some of them were undocumented aliens who do the dirty work in the tourist service industry, in the restaurants and hotels.

My god!! They actually have the nerve to write about those subhumans?? Have they no decency??!! Of the thousands of articles being written they waste ONE to spotlight these "people."
Hey Lonewacko, please stop using up my air with your breathing.

Maybe Nina Bernstein is on vacation?

Anyway, nothing unusual here.

Remember the 9/11 aftermath? It didn't take all that long before I'd seen -- or thought I'd seen -- about as many articles on how 9/11 had affected the 'muslim community' ('hate crimes' etc) as on the victims or their families. At the time I asked this question: What does the death count statistic show? -- do muslims in America have more to fear from Americans, or is it the other way around?

Here you have to admit that it could be there are -- or were -- so many illegals in the area that an article like this is not totally out of line, just looking at the proportion of illegals among the victims; I mean, if they're going to identify and write about groups in this way -- and they are going to do that, guaranteed -- then illegals might be big enough to qualify.