Is it fair to use the labels “anti-immigrant” and “anti-Hispanic” to describe individuals and groups who support the faithful execution of United States immigration law, and who solely express their opposition to illegal immigration?
By any measure, the use of such labels is not only inaccurate, but dishonest and actually offensive.
Whether used in English or Spanish-language media, these labels also misrepresent the real nature of the controversy the country is facing.
The current controversy is not between “pro-immigrant” and “anti-immigrant” or “pro-Hispanic” and “anti-Hispanic” forces, but specifically between “pro-illegal immigrant” or – to use a more politically correct term – “pro-undocumented immigrant” interest groups and individuals and their “anti-illegal immigrant” or “anti-undocumented immigrant” opponents.
In the wake of the recent crisis on America’s southern border, MRC Latino has observed a fresh spike in the use of the “anti-immigrant” and “anti-Hispanic” labels by major English and Spanish-language media outlets, including Telemundo and Univision.
These labels are being unfairly used to mischaracterize and malign millions of decent, pro-law enforcement groups and citizens who have no beef with legal immigrants, but who are only rising up against the lawlessness, demanding and defending respect for the laws and borders of the United States.
Fair and accurate use of labels is a first principle of honest journalism. When labels such as “anti-immigrant” or “anti-Hispanic” are used to characterize one side of the current immigration policy debate, you can be sure the journalism isn’t as honest as it should be and/or is being used to advance a partisan agenda. In view of the above, it is about time offending media outlets examine and amend their labelling practices.