NYT: U.S. Making Life Miserable for Illegals, Says Unlabeled Hillary Pollster

August 10th, 2007 4:00 PM

U.S. hostility to amnesty for illegal immigrants from Mexico is not only hurting illegals here, but crippling poor Mexicans in Mexico as well. So says the New York Times, taking its talking points from a survey performed by a pollster.

To be precise, a Democratic pollster who studies Hispanic voting trends for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign -- a tidbit that didn't get into reporter Julia Preston's sympathetic story on Mexican immigrants no longer sending cash home because of a hostile climate in the U.S.

Julia Preston's "Fewer Mexican Immigrants Are Sending Money Back Home, Bank Says" was based on a survey done by an unlabeled advocate for Latinos in the Democratic Party.

"This year a smaller percentage of Mexican immigrants in the United States sent money back to their homeland than in 2006, according to a report released yesterday by the Inter-American Development Bank. The bank said the reduction had left at least two million people in Mexico without the same financial help they had once received.

"Bank officials, pointing to a survey of Mexican immigrants in the report, said the decline reflected a rising sense of insecurity and uncertainty about whether they would stay in the United States. Anticipating a possible move back to Mexico, these immigrants appear to be saving more."

"'They have decided because of the uncertainty of the future that they need to step back and save a bit,' said Donald F. Terry, general manager of the Multilateral Investment Fund at the bank.

"Mr. Terry said the slowdown would affect about 500,000 Mexican homes. 'For those families in Mexico, there is going to be economic and social dislocation,' he said.

"Over all, the percentage of Mexicans who regularly sent money home fell to 64 percent in the first half of this year, compared with 71 percent for all of last year, according to the report. The sharpest decline in such transactions -- known as remittances -- came among Mexicans living in states where they have settled in large numbers only recently, like Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In those states, the percentage of Mexicans sending money home fell to 56 percent from January to June, from 80 percent in 2006.

"In the survey, only 49 percent of the Mexicans living in states with relatively recent immigration said they expected to be living in the United States five years from now. Sergio Bendixen, a Miami pollster who conducted the survey, said the percentage of Mexicans considering a return to their country was the highest in the more than two decades he has interviewed Hispanic immigrants.

"The immigrants in the survey included American citizens and legal and illegal residents. They identified discrimination as the biggest problem they faced, with 83 percent saying that discrimination against Latin American immigrants in general was growing in the United States.

"'Mexican immigrants don’t feel welcome in the U.S. anymore,' Mr. Bendixen said. 'They feel they are not wanted here, and their contributions are not appreciated.'"

But Preston doesn't identify Bendixen as a Democratic activist and member of the board of advisors of the New Democratic Network, or mention that he is part of Hillary Clinton's presidential polling team. Preston quoted no opponents of illegal immigration.

Preston concluded:

"Remittances to Mexico have become vital to the economics of the country's poorest regions, bank officials said. The money pays for drinking-water systems, roads, care for older people and other needs in villages and working-class neighborhoods."

Times Watch will once again ask the obvious question, since the Times won't: Isn't the plight of poor Mexicans properly the responsibility of Mexico?

In case its somehow unclear where the Times' sympathies lie, Thursday's lead editorial informed us exactly what the paper thinks good people should think about illegals. The headline? "The Misery Strategy."

Contributing writer Alex Kotlowitz used the misery meme in his slanted cover story for the Sunday magazine, and in August 2006, reporter Randal Archibold asserted that the Arizona GOP was passing legislation "intended to make life harder for illegal residents."

Thursday's editorial concluded by implying that those who favor immigration reform regard Hispanics as vermin.

"The American people cherish lawfulness but resist cruelty, and have supported reform that includes a reasonable path to earned citizenship. Their leaders have given them immigration reform as pest control."

For a fuller version of this article, visit TimesWatch.