The issue of illegal immigration has seemed to drift from the front pages of the news, of late, but the AP is not finished trying to advocate for law breakers everywhere, it seems. On April 25, the Associated Press posted a story that serves as a perfect example of how the wire service aims their reporting to support illegal immigration in the United States. In "Arizona sheriff stirs furor with crackdown on illegals," all the negative framing of the issue is used against Sheriff Joe Arpaio's efforts to curb illegal immigration and those who stand against him are constantly given the benefit of the doubt with neutral or positive language describing their actions. Additionally, whenever illegals are mentioned they are presented as victims, one "afraid" immigrant even being quoted as calling our immigration officials "the devil."
The subject of the story is Sheriff Arpaio's recent "crackdown" on illegal immigrants in his jurisdiction of Maricopa County, Arizona. After Federal training was given to his officers, the sheriff began a series of sweeps across the county to detain illegal immigrants. His actions are completely legal and not a single case of abuse by the sheriff's officers has been reported -- a fact that the AP story doesn't bother to mention until the 20th paragraph of the 22 paragraph story.
As the AP piece starts we get a shot at Arpiao right away with a snarky description of the man as being the "self-proclaimed 'toughest sheriff in America.'" Then the AP starts right in with several paragraphs of Hispanic pandering, public officials in small towns inside Arpaio's jurisdiction attacking the sheriff's actions. In fact, as paragraph after paragraph of the his detractors appear in the AP piece railing against the man's work, the man himself gets only a few lines in the story to defend himself.
But, even as the sheriff's actions are proven legal and professional, he is accused of "grandstanding," "racial profiling," and ignoring the elected officials of the towns in which his sweeps have occurred. The AP also reminds us that the sheriff's "raids" are occurring "on heavily Hispanic sections." This "heavily Hispanic" line is thrown into the story as if looking for illegals in "heavily Hispanic" areas is somehow a racist action. Of course, logic would make one ask where else would one look for illegals if not in the areas in which they congregate?
Then we get the AP's catalogue of Hispanic pandering, public officials attacking the sheriff.
"I was upset. We did not request them here," said Guadalupe Mayor Rebecca Jimenez, who charged that the patrols were meant to raise Arpaio's profile for his re-election campaign this year.
So, this mayor is allowed to charge Arpaio of grandstanding merely for campaign purposes, yet the question is never asked of her why so many illegals were found in her town in the first place? Why is she looking the other way as her town fills with illegal aliens?
Then we get the whining from Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.
As for Phoenix, Mayor Phil Gordon said Arpaio should be concentrating on more pressing duties such as finding people with warrants against them, and he has asked for a federal civil rights investigation, complaining the sheriff is singling out people who are "driving with a broken taillight or have brown skin." The U.S. Justice Department refused to comment.
This panderer is given space to say that Arpaio is illicitly employing racial profiling even as no proof was offered that Arpaio has pulled people over merely for having "brown skin." While it's quite a charge, the AP offers no real proof to substantiate the bald politically charged claim made by Mayor Gordon.
Then, even as the sheriff is accused in the AP piece of sparking "protests" with his actions, the AP gives the police chief of Mesa a chance to seem as if he merely wants notification of future sweeps so that he might work to protect people from "unrest."
And in Mesa, Arizona's third-largest city, the police chief has requested two days' notice of any sweeps Arpaio might conduct there, so that his officers can be prepared for any unrest.
It does not occur to the AP, though, that if Sheriff Arpaio were to alert the police chief of Mesa ahead of time, this would not help stop protests, but will instead give the sheriff's opponents time to organize before he has a chance to institute the sweep. In other words, should the sheriff warn Mesa ahead of time, not only will illegals get the word to go into hiding, but opponents of the sheriff will be there to meet him and protests will certainly end up occurring. The Mesa police chief most likely isn't interested in protecting against "unrest" he's interested in fostering it.
Now, it cannot be ignored that the sheriff is observing the law. Yet, the AP negatively describes Arpaio's efforts as "pushing the boundaries on immigration." Are the illegals themselves not pushing the boundaries of the law? Apparently the AP doesn't see it that way. As far as the AP is concerned only the sheriff is being provocative by enforcing the law but those actually breaking the law are not doing anything wrong.
Naturally, the AP wants to portray the sheriff's actions as creating civil unrest, maybe even handing the reader a thinly veiled warning of riots.
The crackdowns have led to demonstrations by protesters on both sides of the immigration debate.
So, once again, imagine how things might get out of hand if Arpaio was stupid enough to have announced his targets ahead of time like the police chief of Mesa wants!
Then the AP portrays the illegals as innocents, folks who are victims of Arpaio's mean-spirited "raids."
Civil rights advocates said Arpaio is spreading fear among Hispanics, illegal or not. "You have cooks, landscapers, nannies afraid to drive," said Hector Yturralde, president of the group Somos America.
Weeks after the crackdown, 20 Spanish-speaking day laborers gathered at a dusty intersection to wait for people to offer them work. Ramon Arajon Contreras, a laborer from Mexico who has lived in Guadalupe for eight years, said the sweep frightened him so much that he hid out in his house until it was over. He said he is still afraid.
"If I see immigration officers," he said, "it's like I see the devil."
Isn't it a good thing that a man who has been breaking our laws for over 8 years is finally finding some fear that he is a criminal? Not according to the AP, sadly.
All in all, this AP story was little else but a sustained attack on Arpaio as he tries to enforce our nation's laws with enemies to our laws given all the space they want to call the sheriff names and cast doubts on his integrity and motives. Meanwhile, the man himself is given little space to explain himself and his supporters afforded but sparse room to show their appreciation for his actions.
The net effect is to show that the AP is plainly on the side of law breakers and stands firmly against our immigration laws.
(Photo credit: The Arizona Republic)