Minuteman Ambushed at TV Studio

Robert Klein Engler is an author and member of the Illinois Minuteman Project. After the massive protests in Chicago opposed to reforming immigration, WGN Chicago invited Engler on the air to talk about the issue and represent the group. But Engler says he was invited under false pretenses.

Engler wrote a report of his experience at the studio:

Many of those involved in the Illinois Minuteman Project believe the Chicago media is biased towards illegal immigrants. At best the media is ill informed and at worst it is simply the propaganda arm for the Democratic Party and the Clan of Bridgeport. Recently, I was invited to appear on WGN's TV-News program, Adelante, as a representative of The Illinois Minuteman Project to see if what we believe about the media is true. What happened was an eye-opener.

I was asked to represent the IMP by its director Rosana Pulido. She was told to send someone who would be on the program with a woman representing the Latino community to talk about U. S. House of Representative's Bill H. R. 4437. That bill would make being an illegal immigrant in the U. S. a felony crime. When I arrived at the TV station and was taken to the green room, I soon discovered what I had prepared for was not going to happen. The discussion I planned to attend turned into a setup.

From the beginning, the program got off to a biased start. I was introduced as a representative of the "controversial" Illinois Minuteman Project. Whoever wrote the script never questioned why it is controversial to want the immigration laws of your country enforced. Then, Judie Garcia, a WGN TV reporter speaking on tape suggested that H. R. 4437 would make being an immigrant in this country illegal, when in fact if you are here without the proper papers you are already illegal. No one at WGN TV-News ever thought to edit that error out of the video tape.

Instead of a representative from the Latino community, I shared the program with an Irishman who was in the U. S. on a visa. He was a speaker at the recent rally opposing H. R. 4437 and owns a restaurant in Chicago. He is planning to open another one across from Chicago's new Millennium Park, too. He did not want to talk about the legislation, but instead talk about how over a century ago there were signs in New York City saying, "No Irish Need Apply." I tried to tell him he had a 19th century view of immigration and was imposing it on a 21st century problem. He never got my point.

When the mayor of Chicago spoke on video tape from the rally, he said "Don't let anyone call you an immigrant. Everyone in America is an immigrant." I responded by saying this statement by the mayor was nonsense. If the mayor called everyone in America an immigrant, how, then, can you not call someone an immigrant?" Before I could say the mayor was as confused as his immigration policies, I was jumped on by both the Irishman and the moderator of the program, Juan Carlos Fanjul. It was now two against one. I had thought as moderator Juan Carlos was supposed to be neutral and not rise to the defense of the mayor.

After that, I wanted to bring up the issue of media bias, but there was no time remaining. Instead, I was repeatedly called a racist. No one at WGN TV-News seemed to remember the racist group La Raza, that promotes an Hispanic agenda in the U. S., or the newspaper called La Raza, or El Dia de la Raza celebrated in Mexico. When the very name of your group is "The Race" how can the Illinois Minuteman Project be called racist and La Raza not be?

I wanted also to point out that in Chicago, the newspapers and TV news are not free to do objective reporting on illegal immigration because they buy into the sanctuary cities program ordered by the mayor. Reporters say I am being racist when I claim that illegal immigrants are a source of crime in our community, but if a reporter wanted to prove me wrong, he couldn't. If someone is arrested for a crime like murder, robbery, or drug possession in Chicago, because of the mayor's order, the police cannot inquire into their immigration status, so, we never know how many criminals are illegal immigrants.