Good News on CBS: Illegal Immigrants Can Become Neurosurgeons

On yesterday’s CBS "Sunday Morning," reporter Steve Hartman demonstrated why illegal immigration is actually a good thing: "Good news about an illegal immigrant...By all accounts this man they call Dr. Q is one of the best up-and-coming neurosurgeons in the country." Interestingly, this story was actually first aired on the May 18 "Evening News." Apparently CBS is really going green, it even recycles its own biased reporting.   

The segment began by Hartman actually admitting to the mainstream media’s usual doom and gloom reporting: "Because it never leads the news...because war and scandal and planet melting always make for catchier headlines...It's easy to forget all the good stories that happen every year." Hartman decided to focus on three "good" stories for a change, which included a brief profile of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa:

Clinically brilliant, relentlessly charming. His patients say it's almost like he was born to be a doctor. If they only knew...Just 20 years ago this renown neurosurgeon was about as anonymous as a human being can get in America. An illegal immigrant working the fields of California's San Joaquin Valley...after he jumped the U.S.-Mexico border and took up residence in this leaky old trailer, Alfredo says the moon seemed closer than medical school.

Apparently, border enforcement is making it difficult for the future top minds of America to get here. However, last time I checked, Albert Einstein was a legal immigrant to the United States.

It was not until later in the segment that Hartman explained that Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa:

...got his U.S. citizenship and a Harvard Medical School scholarship. Graduated Cum Laude, squeezed in time for a family and is now at Johns Hopkins scrubbing in those same weed-picking hands for brain surgery.

Hartman concluded the segment by demonstrating how silly immigration law really is:

HARTMAN: It's no doubt a remarkable American success story. The fact that it all started with a fence hopping makes it a controversial one too.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: The last thing that I want is people to think that what I have done is justified. And the only thing that I can do is try to pay back every day by every single thing I do.

HARTMAN: To that end, Dr. Q spends much of his free time in the lab trying to find a cure for brain cancer. He hopes it makes amends, but admits he'd cross again in a heartbeat.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: I'm sure I would. You know, to be honest with you, it's human nature to try to find better ways to survive. It's human nature. It's not rocket science.

HARTMAN: It's not even brain surgery.

In other words, illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans will not do, like neurosurgery and curing cancer.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

9:01AM TEASER:

STEVE HARTMAN: This Sunday, let us give thanks for the good news we've had all year. That's right. I said good news. For a change, we'll show you good news out of New Orleans.

ALFREDO QUINONES-HINOJOSA: All I want to do is come in and say hi to my patient. That's it.

HARTMAN: Good news about an illegal immigrant and good news about an old gillopy and a long ago love. So get ready to be inspired later on "Sunday Morning."

9:08AM INTRO:

CHARLES OSGOOD: The good news is that the phrase good news is not necessarily a contradiction in terms. And when better than Thanksgiving weekend to go in search of proof. Our cover story is from Steve Hartman as reporter for Assignment America on the CBS Evening News, Steve is something of an expert on these matters.

KATIE COURIC: I'm Katie Couric. Tonight an exclusive report about the next terror threat.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Also, the right to bear arms. What does the Second Amendment really mean about guns?

CHARLES GIBSON: Nightmare scenario. A major storm gathers....

STEVE HARTMAN: Because it never leads the news....

LARA LOGAN: The U.S. Surge is now fully underway.

HARTMAN: Because war and scandal and planet melting always make for catchier headlines.

RUSS MITCHELL: We begin tonight with the most comprehensive report in the worst mass shooting in U.S. History.

HARTMAN: It's easy to forget all the good stories that happen every year.

9:12AM SEGMENT:

HARTMAN: By all accounts this man they call Dr. Q is one of the best up-and-coming neurosurgeons in the country. At 39, he is already Director of Brain Tumor Surgery at Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore. Clinically brilliant, relentlessly charming. His patients say it's almost like he was born to be a doctor. If they only knew.

ALFREDO QUINONES-HINOJOSA: My very first job was with the very same hands, the very same hands that do brain surgery nowadays, back then they pulled weeds.

HARTMAN: Just 20 years ago this renown neurosurgeon was about as anonymous as a human being can get in America. An illegal immigrant working the fields of California's San Joaquin Valley. Born Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, he says as a kid he dreamed of being a doctor. But even after he jumped the U.S.-Mexico border and took up residence in this leaky old trailer, Alfredo says the moon seemed closer than medical school.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: All I wanted to do is just make a little bit of money, send it back to my parents. That's it.

HARTMAN: But he says he had this passion. This passion to learn everything.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: There were a lot of little steps.

HARTMAN: Like you were picking weeds and you got the job on the tractor. And then you were a welder. I'm just trying to get it in order here. And then you went to community college somewhere in there and learned English.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: That's correct. Then University of California --

HARTMAN: Got into Berkeley.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: Berkeley, UC Berkeley.

HARTMAN: And then from Berkeley somehow you got great grades.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: Absolutely, my life began to really take off.

HARTMAN: Next he got his U.S. citizenship and a Harvard Medical School scholarship. Graduated Cum Laude, squeezed in time for a family and is now at Johns Hopkins scrubbing in those same weed-picking hands for brain surgery. It's no doubt a remarkable American success story. The fact that it all started with a fence hopping makes it a controversial one too.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: The last thing that I want is people to think that what I have done is justified. And the only thing that I can do is try to pay back every day by every single thing I do.

HARTMAN: To that end, Dr. Q spends much of his free time in the lab trying to find a cure for brain cancer. He hopes it makes amends, but admits he'd cross again in a heartbeat.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: I'm sure I would. You know, to be honest with you, it's human nature to try to find better ways to survive. It's human nature. It's not rocket science.

HARTMAN: It's not even brain surgery.

QUINONES-HINOJOSA: Looks very good. Thank you, guys.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC