New York Times reporter Julia Preston provided her predictably pro-amnesty slant in Wednesday story on the apparently deathless Dream Act, a bill up in the lame-duck session of Congress (it passed the House Wednesday night) that would provide amnesty for illegal immigrant students: “Illegal Immigrant Students Await Votes on Legal Status.”
With both houses of Congress set to vote this week on a bill that would give legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant students, one of those students will wait for news of the outcome at an immigration detention center in Arizona.
The student, Hector Lopez, 21, was deported to Mexico in August after having lived with his family in Oregon since he was an infant. After two months of trying to find his bearings and a job in Mexico City, Mr. Lopez, who does not speak Spanish, traveled to the border last month and turned himself in to the immigration authorities, requesting asylum in the United States.
Mr. Lopez’s deportation and effort to return offer a look at one prospect awaiting illegal immigrant students if the bill, known as the Dream Act, fails.
Many Republican senators, led by Jeff Sessions of Alabama, have denounced the bill as a “nightmare act” that would give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and provide safe harbor for some with criminal records. Other Republicans, including several who supported the bill in the past, said they would not vote for it this time because they believe Democrats are pushing it to please Latino voters.
In demonstrations this year in support of the bill, hundreds of immigrant students declared their illegal status and thousands joined street protests. Young illegal immigrants like Mr. Lopez are regularly caught in sweeps by immigration agents.
Preston belatedly provided some of the nitty-gritty details the paper reliably omits from its incredibly favorable coverage of the Dream Act’s progress and protests.
The Times has been selling the Dream Act as an educational lifeline for blameless immigrant children, but Preston mentioned, deep in the story, that to make the legislation more palatable, a liberal supporter in the Senate was obliged to lower the eligibility age for amnesty to 29 from 35 and to tighten exclusion based on criminal records.
The lead sponsor of the Senate bill, Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, made changes to it in an effort to attract more votes, lowering the maximum age for eligibility to 29 from 35, and tightening the exclusion of immigrants with criminal records.
When interviewing potential beneficiaries of the Dream Act, the Times inevitably homes in on sympathetic young high school or college students, never 35-year-old felons.
A Nexis search suggests this is the first occasion in its many articles that the Times has mentioned the eligibility age of 35 -- in an article appearing after the age was lowered.