Reuters: 'Immigrant' Seeking 'Sanctuary' Deported

August 20th, 2007 2:52 PM

While a picture says a thousand words, certain words set the tone for news articles...a tactic the media is well aware of. Consider the following Reuters headline:

Mexican immigrant who sought U.S. sanctuary deported

An immigrant seeking sanctuary? Was she being politically persecuted in her homeland? Did she fear for her life? No. It turns out that Elvira Arellano was an illegal immigrant who hid out in a Chicago church over the past year, with the church offering her sanctuary. Arellano had a child here in the U.S., an anchor baby, and claimed she should not be deported because she had to stay and care for her son.

The first paragraph of the Reuters article continues:

A Mexican woman whose fight against deportation from the United States became a cause celebre for pro-immigration activists was deported without her son, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Monday.

It's a short article, but nowhere does the word "illegal" crop up. And when you read the phrase "pro-immigration activists," one gets the idea that she's become a "cause celebre" for immigration. Unfortunately, the media often portrays those against illegal immigration as being completely anti-immigrant...and this short piece fits neatly into that category.

Finally, that first paragraph mentions that she was deported without her son. People simply skimming headlines might think that the mean old government split them up on purpose. Here's the last sentence:

The agency said that Arellano's son, who is a U.S. citizen, was left with her traveling companions, at her request.

Arellano left her son behind. Was there anything stopping her from bringing him to Mexico with her? Somehow, I doubt it. But it certainly adds to the tearjerker factor that an 8-year-old boy was likely left crying at the border as his mother was sent away.

Poor kid. But I doubt we've seen the last of Arellano...and the positive press coverage of her case will be waiting to pick up where it left off.

UPDATE: Earlier today, Ken Shepherd noted that the Chicago Tribune not only referred to Arellano merely as an "activist," but ignored the fact that she was convicted of Social Security fraud. Obviously Reuters left out that tidbit as well. (And for more on this story, check out AllahPundit's post on Hot Air.)