Nativism: October 2008 Archives

I wrote something a while ago debunking an anti-migrant email full of misinformation that has been making the rounds.  It came up again recently, and I was asked if I could publish what I wrote online.  Here it is:


Below is another chain email that spreads misinformation about migrants.  It is wrong in so many ways but we'll start with the sources that it quotes.  All of the links below lead to several dubious sources such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has been dubbed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for Immigration Studies which is a spin-off of FAIR, transcripts from Lou Dobbs, and Frosty Wooldrige who is a nativist lunatic.  All of these sources have agendas that they want to push, and anyone who uses them to make factual arguments should be heavily scrutinized.

Pointing to faulty sources in itself does not stop the spread of misinformation.  I don't have time to check up on all of the facts that FAIR points to, but the math in the email below is fuzzy in itself, adding up not only "the cost" of undocumented immigrants, but legal immigrants and U.S. citizen born of immigrants.  The email is written in a way to make people believe that it is only undocumented migrants that account for the "costs" they add up, but if it were made clear that they are demonizing legal migrants and U.S. citizens in this email, as well, it would run strongly against the tide of U.S. citizen public opinion.
I don't want to take away from yave's post on Nancy Pelosi's comments.  It's a must read for those who haven't read it. 

Still, I haven't blogged in a while and I wanted to comment briefly on this latest trend of questioning Obama's "Americanness".  This has taken several forms, from making him out to be a Muslim, as if it were a bad thing, to suggesting he's anti-American, all the way to questioning his U.S. citizenship. 

Jeff Yang has an excellent piece in the San Francisco Chronicle addressing this very issue. 

It's good to see Asian American voices featured prominently in the U.S. migration debate.  In a piece entitled "Choosing to be American" Yang flips the entire equation on those who look to delegitimize people on the basis of the arbitrary territorial lines they were born into. 

Who is more American?  She who is automatically given U.S. citizenship, or she who chooses it?  Go check it out Yang's piece if you have a chance and ponder this very question.
I'm subscribed to the Truth in Immigration weekly update, a project put together by MALDEF, and yesterday they sent out this gem of a video:

We've long known that Lou Dobbs doesn't really care for any migrants, but Truth in Immigration really lays out a specific example where that is unabashedly true.