The Third Annual VDARE.COM "Worst Immigration Coverage Award" is given, after much soul-searching, to Newsday's Bart Jones and Mae Cheng who co-author the newspaper's regular feature, "Immigration Q & A."
For those of you out there that still may think that illegal immigration problems start at our border with Mexico, I encourage you to read their "Immigration Q & A."
"Immigration Q & A" may appear innocuous to the uninformed because it frequently deals with questions that involve administrative paperwork muck ups.
But the column's sub-rosa reason for being is, quite obviously, to help illegal immigrants gain legal status.
To my eye, "Immigration Q & A" has problems aplenty:
Mind you, the cabal of lawyers tapped into by Jones/Cheng no doubt gives advice that is technically accurate.
But other lawyers who see immigration from a different perspective would have dissimilar but equally legal responses.
Of course, Jones/Cheng never contact them.
Among those lawyers whose responses should be, in the interest of fairness, included in Jones/Cheng's column, are:
Consider this recent—and scandalous— example from Cheng's November 20, 2005 column.
"Q: My former wife, my children and I came to the United States on tourist visas applied for political asylum. We received a second notice to appear in an Orlando court in November 2006. I am now living with a woman who is an American citizen. I want to know if we can get married and if I can apply to adjust my status to that of a permanent resident due to our marriage? Can I include my children in this application? Is it worth continuing the asylum application or should I be pursuing both at the same time?
"A: Since you have a notice to appear in court, it sounds like you have been put in deportations proceedings while you are waiting a final decision on your asylum application, said Cyrus Mehta, a Manhattan immigration attorney who is Chairman of the board of trustees with the American Immigration Law Foundation based in Washington, D.C.
"If that is the case, as long as the deportation proceedings are not completed, you can have your new wife petition you to become a permanent resident since you came to the country legally and since she is an American citizen, Metha said.
"You should know though that if you are in deportation proceedings, immigration officials will look even more closely at your new marriage to make sure it is bona fide and not one of convenience or a sham marriage to get legal status to stay in the U.S., Metha said.
"As for your children, your new wife could petition them separately as her step-children, as long as the kids are not older than 18, according to Metha.
"And you can continue to simultaneously pursue both your asylum application and your application to adjust your status to that of a permanent resident, Metha said."
Summarizing Cheng/Metha's advice: you're in a jam. But if you are quick on your feet and your pliant American citizen girlfriend will help, you should be able to become a permanent resident… with the help of a savvy immigration lawyer.
Now, for comparison, let's see how our own Juan Mann sees the case:
"First of all, this lying, cheating opportunist committed fraud in his B-1/B-2 tourist visa application before U.S. consular officers abroad. He stated that he intended to RETURN to his country within a specified period of time. If he didn't state an intention to return, he would not have been given the visa in the first place.
"Now, he is using the EOIR Immigration Court process—a system that was supposedly set-up to DEPORT visa overstayers like him and his family—in order to adjust status and emerge with legal status in the U.S. What a farce!
"Also, the alien asks: 'Is it worth continuing the asylum application?'
"Well, if this alien really and truly suffered past persecution' or has a 'well-founded fear of future persecution' in his native country, he would NOT EVEN THINK TO ASK SUCH A QUESTION . . . because his claim would be TRUTHFUL!
"The cavalier attitude he displays concerning this throw-away political asylum application—by even asking the question — betrays his guilty knowledge that the application is a complete fraud.
"Rather than 'fear' of 'persecution' . . . it's just another way to beat the system. Since his application is already filed—and if the alien has knowingly made a frivolous application for asylum—the federal government has seen fit to bar such liars from ever receiving any benefits under the Immigration Act—INA Section 208(d)(6) and 8 C.F.R. section 208.20—including adjustment of status through an 'immigration-love' marriage to a U.S. citizen.
"So since the damage is done and the asylum application is already signed under penalty of perjury and filed, this alien and his whole lying, cheating clan had better leave now . . . before it's too late! How about by sundown?
"Moral of story: No visa jumping!...No In-Country asylum processing!"
(Read, and forward to your Congressman, Juan's "absolutely definitive essay" which describes what Mann refers to as around-the-clock abuse of immigration law caused by "too many lawyers and too much litigation.")
"Immigration Q & A" isn't an innocuous "Hints from Heloise." It's dangerous. Using their weekly column, Jones and Cheng encourage more immigration and outline ways in which illegal residents can beat the system.
The Journalist's Creed, written 100 years ago by the first dean of the University of Missouri Journalism School, should bind Newsday, Jones and Cheng.
Wrote Dean Walter Williams:
"I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service."
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.