Does Tanya Schevitz understand and support fundamental American concepts? (Chris Patti, Claudia Keith)
Tanya Schevitz of the San Francisco Chronicle offers "Undocumented students' college aid in jeopardy" (link) about the recent ruling reinstating a suit over the California law giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens. That law is explicitly anti-American: it gives citizens of foreign countries who are here illegally a better deal than some U.S. citizens, and laws like that prevent some U.S. citizens from going to college. In other words, illegal aliens take a chance at college from U.S. citizens. Such laws are a direct attack on the fundamental concept of citizenship.
The title of the article is about what you'd expect from San Francisco in general: putting the interests of foreign citizens ahead of U.S. citizens. While Tanya Schevitz might not be the one that come up with headline, the article itself is as bad as the title.
Before getting out your handkerchiefs, Tanya Shevitz does do one service: letting us in on the fact that the politicians who crafted the law (AB540) did it in such a way as to evade the spirit of federal law:
"The central issue in the case is whether or not the criteria for in-state fees is based on residency or not, and the Legislature carefully constructed the statute so that it was not based on residency," [University of California attorney Chris Patti] said. "It is based on whether you went to a California high school and graduated from a California high school, and those criteria are not based on residency."
The rest of the article wholy sympathizes with those illegal aliens who would be affected and doesn't show any concern for those U.S. citizens who will have their college educations taken away from them:
A state appellate court has put a financial cloud over the future of tens of thousands of undocumented California college students... ...If the law is struck down, it has the potential to financially devastate undocumented students, who are not eligible for state or federal aid. For many, it may mean the difference between attending school and dropping out, Patti said... ...The ruling was disturbing news to those undocumented students who need the subsidy to stay in school...
Unlike Schvitz, my concern is with the U.S. citizens who are victimized by laws like this. Those who are "undocumented" should be encouraged to repatriate themselves and their home countries should be encouraged in one way or another to take care of them. Needless to say, the California State University doesn't agree:
"What we are concerned about are the students who are caught in the middle of this legal dispute," said CSU spokeswoman Claudia Keith.
Near the end of the article Tonya Shevitz plays a common trick in articles like this, quoting a sympathetic "undocumented" victim. As has been done in countless other articles, the "undocumented immigrant" doesn't give her last name, and also stresses that she's only used to the U.S. Considering all the other articles containing those exact same components, a real reporter might consider whether they were being played:
Gesel, who declined to give her last name because of her immigration status, has lived in California since she was 9 but is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico with no path to legal status under current immigration laws... "We were raised in this country. Most of our life is here," she said.
Considering the number of times that something very similar to the above has been used in other articles, does anyone think Schveitz is a real reporter?
Note also that Tyche Hendricks was involved in some way with the article.
Send your polite thoughts to tschevitz *at* sfchronicle.com