NPR Trumpets 'Boost to Gay Rights' On Deportation Front

On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Richard Gonzales slanted towards homosexual activists who laud the Obama administration's recent move to slacken its deportation policy and allow foreign-born nationals in same-sex "marriages" to stay in the United States without a green card. Gonzales found an opponent of the new policy, but noted that "his objection has nothing to do with sexual orientation."

The correspondent highlighted the plight of Bradford Wells, a resident of San Francisco's infamous Castro district, whose Australian partner's permission to stay in the country is about to expire. He stated that Wells "has good days and bad days....[He] has AIDS and a host of related ailments. His primary care-giver....Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia....entered this country legally.... he's applied for a green card. But he's been rejected because under the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the federal government doesn't recognize their marriage....So, he's left in a legal limbo, and the upsets Wells."

After playing two clips from the San Francisco resident, Gonzales continued that "Wells's cloud of uncertainty may soon lift. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will concentrate on deporting criminal offenders. Less priority will be given to deporting individuals who came here legally, have strong family and community ties, and are the primary caretakers of a U.S. citizen. A spokesman says that it can include gay and lesbian married couples"  (the NPR.org write-up of Gonzales's report trumpeted how "new deportation rules give boost to gay rights"). The NPR correspondent then played two more sound bites from homosexual activists who support the new administration policy:

GONZALES: Steve Rawls is a spokesman for Immigration Equality, a gay group that supports Makk's efforts to get a green card.

STEVE RAWLS, IMMIGRATION EQUALITY: There's no doubt that the announcement by DHS last week, that they were including gay and lesbian families among the families that they intend to help, is a step in the right direction.
       
GONZALES: This week, the government took another step in that direction when it dropped deportation proceedings against a Venezuelan man who had overstayed his visa, and married an American man last year in Connecticut. That was a victory for attorney Lavi Soloway, who leads a campaign to end what he calls 'DOMA deportations.'

LAVI SOLOWAY: And what that means is deportations of individuals who are married to gay or lesbian Americans, and who would be eligible for green cards based on those marriages, if not for the Defense of Marriage Act.

Near the end of the report, Gonzales finally played two clips from Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, whose opposition centered on the Obama White House's apparent abuse of its power, not on their undermining of DOMA.

NPR has been consistent in its slant towards the agenda of homosexual activists so far in 2011. A month earlier, on the July 24 edition of Weekend Edition, correspondent Jeff Brady spotlighted the first same-sex "marriage" in New York State and how local political and business leaders in Niagara Falls were clamoring to cater to the homosexual community. Back in April, Tovia Smith devoted an entire report to a tax protest organized by same-sex couples who take object to DOMA.

The full transcript of Richard Gonzale's report from Thursday's All Things Considered:

ROBERT SIEGEL: Thousands of same-sex married couples now have hopes of staying together in the U.S., thanks to a change in deportation policy. The government says it will begin prioritizing deportations, giving lower priority to those with families here. And the Obama administration includes same-sex couples in its definition of family.

NPR's Richard Gonzales has the story.

RICHARD GONZALES: Fifty-five-year-old Bradford Wells, a longtime resident of San Francisco, has good days and bad days.

BRADFORD WELLS: It's just a part of chronic illness. I've been battling this disease now for more than half of my life.

GONZALES: Wells has AIDS and a host of related ailments. His primary care-giver is a man he married seven years ago, Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, who entered this country legally.

WELLS: We married in Worcester, Massachusetts July 22, 2004.

GONZALES: Sitting in their backyard in San Francisco's Castro District, Makk says as a spouse of a U.S. citizen, he's applied for a green card. But he's been rejected because under the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the federal government doesn't recognize their marriage. So, Makk is appealing, but his permission to stay here expires this week. So, he's left in a legal limbo, and the upsets Wells.

WELLS: We're legally married. I believe that we should have the same legal rights as every other married couple in this country. I don't want to live under a deportation order. I don't want my family under a deportation order.

GONZALES: But Wells's cloud of uncertainty may soon lift. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will concentrate on deporting criminal offenders. Less priority will be given to deporting individuals who came here legally, have strong family and community ties, and are the primary caretakers of a U.S. citizen. A spokesman says that it can include gay and lesbian married couples.

Steve Rawls is a spokesman for Immigration Equality, a gay group that supports Makk's efforts to get a green card.


STEVE RAWLS, IMMIGRATION EQUALITY: There's no doubt that the announcement by DHS last week, that they were including gay and lesbian families among the families that they intend to help, is a step in the right direction.
       
GONZALES: This week, the government took another step in that direction when it dropped deportation proceedings against a Venezuelan man who had overstayed his visa, and married an American man last year in Connecticut. That was a victory for attorney Lavi Soloway, who leads a campaign to end what he calls 'DOMA deportations.'

LAVI SOLOWAY: And what that means is deportations of individuals who are married to gay or lesbian Americans, and who would be eligible for green cards based on those marriages, if not for the Defense of Marriage Act.

GONZALES: The Obama administration already has said that it considers DOMA to be unconstitutional. But it remains the law. Meanwhile, immigration control groups are blasting the new Obama policy on deportations.

IRA MEHLMAN, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM: Congress has written the immigration laws of this country. It is the responsibility of the executive branch to carry them out, whether they happen to agree with them or not.

GONZALES: Ira Mehlman is a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. He says his objection has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

MEHLMAN: It has to do with what we consider to be an unconstitutional policy on the part of the administration to simply drop cases that are in process, under the guise of setting priorities.

GONZALES: As for Bradford Wells, he says he's trying to be optimistic that his husband, Anthony Makk, will be allowed to stay here. But thus far, they have not heard from the government. Richard Gonzales, NPR News, San Francisco.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center