THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS DO NOT HOLD extreme anti-immigrant views, but it is difficult for those of us who don't live and breathe immigration policy to discern what is true from what isn't when we're constantly bombarded by inflammatory and inaccurate information. Negative portrayals of immigration and immigrants have often dominated mainstream media, including print, TV, radio, and Web 2.0.
These portrayals often are based on twisted information and statistics supplied by groups with an anti-immigrant agenda and a record of playing fast and loose with the facts. Media outlets, even well-established ones, often present these anti-immigrant groups as reliable sources of information and take their claims at face value, without any independent verification.
To tackle this media distortion, some of the local, state, and national organizations that NILC works with have increased their efforts to hold the media more accountable and are coordinating their efforts to correct the record and thereby help change the debate. We strongly support such projects and want to make you aware of a few of them, in case you are not already.
"America's Voice is the newly-founded [in 2008] communications campaign working to win common-sense immigration reform."
CNC's Nativism Watch project exposes facts about anti-immigrant voices often featured in the media. Here is a list of helpful publications on anti-immigrant groups.
"...providing factual information about immigration in America." IPC's timely fact sheets are available here.
CIPC's Public Messaging Toolkit focuses on these strategies and issues: reframing immigration, immigrants and the economy, immigrant integration, health care and access to benefits, and enforcement issues.
"The time has come to take hate out of the debate. Immigration is a serious issue requiring a reasoned and thoughtful debate." A project of the National Council of La Raza.
In 2008 CASA de Maryland launched an effort to respond rapidly to inaccurate, biased reports in the media about immigrants. CASA seeks volunteers it can notify when a response, such as sending letters to a publication's editor, is called for. For more information about CASA's Media Watch, contact Mario E. Quiroz-Servellón.
"Truth in Immigration's mission is to rebut legal and factual inaccuracies about immigrants and/or Latinos." A project of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.