Many industries rely on migrant labor, but that is no excuse for news networks to advocate a path to legalization for illegal aliens, or - worse - to excuse employers who simply look the other way.
Yet, CNN's Jason Carroll did both in a segment for "American Morning" Nov. 5.
"You hear it, not just in the farming industry, but in the restaurant industry as well and so many of these industries - the garment industry - you know, this is what these people are looking for," Carroll said after delivering his pro-immigrant report. "They're looking for immigration reform. They feel like their businesses will go under if someone does not find a way to make some of these people who are here working, who are undocumented, and get them into some sort of legal status."
Carroll had interviewed Rob Valicoff, an apple farmer in Yakima, Wash., who owes thousands in fines because his workers' papers weren't in order. Valicoff said he checks their paperwork, but it's not a "guarantee."
Valicoff claimed that U.S. citizens won't do the work he needs: "Uh, we've had some out here and they just don't last."
Carroll was sympathetic to Valicoff and interviewed an immigration attorney who warned that if businesses had to check immigration status the way ICE wants them to, they would "go broke."
"Though not required, ICE says employers like Valicoff should use their system called E-Verify to validate a worker's social security number," Carroll said. "However, immigration attorney Tom Roach says ICE doesn't require E-Verify because they know the reality of the workforce."
Roach also told Carroll that if that system was required the "farmers in America would go broke."
Ultimately, Carroll excused farmers like Valicoff saying, ""[Y]ou hear from the farmers there, if they don't get the reform that they think that they need it's just gonna be turn the other way and do what they have to do."
The network media has also promoted illegal immigration. An MRC Special Report in 2006 (as the House of Representatives passed a bill to curb illegal immigration) found that amnesty and guest-worker program advocates were almost twice as likely to speak in news stories as advocates of stricter border control.