Wire Services Cut and Paste Bush Immigration Speech

March 28th, 2006 12:41 AM
President Bush spoke at a Naturalization Ceremony Monday and renewed his call for immigration reform. The transcript of the speech is 5 pages long. The Associated Press and Reuters published less than 8 lines from the entire speech. To add insult to injury, both news organizations used the exact same quotes from the speech. The statements used were included at the end of the speech during the wrap up. They neglected to cite any statements from the speech where the President restated his stance on immigration and laid out his ideas on immigration reform.

Here are a few excerpts from the body of the speech via White House transcripts:

“I believe every new citizen has an obligation to learn the customs and values that define our nation, including liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God, tolerance for others and the English language.”

“Immigration is also an emotional topic. And we need to maintain our perspective as we conduct this debate.”

“America is a nation of immigrants and we’re also a nation of laws… America should not have to choose between being a welcoming society and being a lawful society. We can be both at the same time. And so, to keep the promise of America, we must enforce the laws of America.”

“We must also reform those laws. No one is served by an immigration system that allows large numbers of people to sneak across the border illegally. Nobody benefits when illegal immigrants live in the shadows of society.”

“Our objective is to keep the border open to trade and tourism, and closed to criminals and drug dealers and terrorists.”

“We have much more work ahead and we cannot be satisfied until we’re in full control of the border.”

“Businesses have an obligation to abide by the law. The government has the responsibility to help them do so.”

“Amnesty would also be unwise, because it would encourage future waves of illegal immigration. For the sake of justice and border security, I firmly oppose amnesty.”

President Bush also said the following about the temporary worker program:

“…to make the system more rational, orderly and secure…”

“Workers should be able to register for legal status on a temporary basis. If they decide to apply for citizenship, they would have to get in line. This program would help meet the demands of a growing economy and would allow honest workers to provide for their families while respecting the law.”

“…create tamper-proof identification cards that would allow us to keep track of every temporary worker who is here on a legal basis and help us identify those who are here illegally.”

Quite a difference when you read excerpts from the body of the speech instead of pulling lines out of the end of a speech. By using selected quotes pulled out of the speech without context, the AP and Reuters painted a picture of the President standing on the border with a giant welcome sign for illegal aliens or telling Americans to play nice with the illegals. Both are completely off the mark.

Just like the DP World ports issue, the media is pulling the strings on public opinion. These pre-formed opinions from the media only enhance the chaos and negativity surrounding such an important issue. Add that to an election year and you have the makings of another “sky falling” episode. It is one thing to base your opinion on the facts – another to base it on media reports.