If I were an illegal alien and wanted to wrap a MainStream Media reporter around my little finger, I would say two things:
Virtually anyone in the US illegally can make the first statement, misleading though it is. Technically, any alien who sets foot on American soil and makes a residency application can claim that he is on the way to legal status, even though he does not have a snowball's chance in hell of being approved.
Applying is, after all, a step in the "process".
As for the GED test, that's an easy sell to reporters, too. The fact that the alien in many cases has had only a couple of years of primary school education and may be illiterate in his own language should be a tip-off to the reporter that a GED is well out of reach, even if taken in Spanish.
From my personal experience teaching a GED preparation course for the Lodi Unified School District, I can confirm that passing the test is a stretch for anyone who does not have either recent schooling or a basic educational foundation.
In fact, my guess is that only about 50 percent of 2007 California high school graduates could pass the GED, which has recently made more difficult.
Recently Honduran alien Yori Barahona made the two preposterous claims—"in the process" and "plans to take the GED test"—to the completely-duped New York Times reporter Alexis Rehrmann.
Apparently moved by Barahona's deceptions, Rehrmann included her as one of the Times' annual Christmas "neediest cases". This maddening series, which began in 1912 (read the 2007 versions here) and appears every December, details the plights of a disproportionate number of illegal immigrants in order to generate donations on their behalf.[Once Pregnant and Penniless, Now Leading a Household, By Alexis Rehrmann, New York Times, December 29, 2008]
Here, in a nutshell, is illegal alien Barahona's true situation, as viewed through my well-trained eyes:
There's an idea for you—walk around your neighborhood, knock on doors and ask for a handout claiming that you haven't done well with the opposite sex and that your failures have put you in a bit of a bind financially. See how far you get!
My conclusion about Barahona is quite different from Rehrmann's.
Barahona is an illiterate baby machine and welfare dependent leech who sleeps around and brings no job skills or anything else to the party.
Barahona is a needy case, all right—in need of being deported.
The NYT, and other MSM sources, are great on charity for aliens. In 2003, I wrote about Times reporter Judy Tong, duped by Francisco Ortigoza who told her that: "he entered the country legally."
Unlike "in the process" and "plan to study," not every illegal resident can make this claim.
But, like the other falsehoods, it is incomplete: one can enter legally on a visa, but then not return home, thus becoming an alien and, in my book, a candidate (like Barahona) for deportation, not assistance.
At play in the Times neediest cases appeal are two gigantic ironies.
The Times tells tales of drug abuse, drunkenness, heavy reliance on public assistance, immoral behavior, welfare fraud and generally bad choice-making... all arguments VDARE.COM has made as reasons immigration should be severely restricted.
Yet the Times turns around to suggest that you should financially reward not only the aliens' illegal entry into the U.S. but then, through your donations, their very bad behavior once they got here.
And never mind, I guess, that, if you are so naïve as to contribute, you are in fact subsidizing illegal immigrants twice: once through your taxes that fund the social services the aliens depend on; and again through your cash out-of-pocket gift.
For a comprehensive and revealing look at the 100-year evolution of the NYT's' neediest cases, and how it went from a plea for the deserving poor to the undeserving, read Heather Mac Donald's piece. [Behind the Hundred Neediest Cases, By Heather Mac Donald, City Journal, Spring, 1997]
To name just one example, nearly 200,000 U.S. veterans are homeless—about 25 percent of the total homeless population. About 1,500 fought in the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. [Study Finds That Veterans Are a Quarter of the Homeless, By Kimberly Hefling, Associated Press, November 8, 2007]
Curiously, the NYT wrote a story about homelessness among veterans but does not see their plight as worthy enough to add to its "Neediest Cases". [Surge Seen In Number Of Homeless Veterans, By Erik Eckholm, New York Times, November 8, 2007]
The NYT position on immigration is well known to all. But I'm always amazed—even though, at this point, I probably should not be—at how it contradicts itself.
On the one hand the NYT tells us through its endless editorial and slanted stories that immigrants are productive workers, essential for our economy and revitalizing our cities. Ergo, we need more of them.
On the other hand the very same NYT says that immigrants are down and out because of various addictions and calls for us to all pitch in to help them get back on their feet.
Which is it? Even the NYT would have to admit that it can't have it both ways.
The "neediest cases" prove that VDARE.COM and not the Times is on the right side of the national question argument.
Joe Guzzardi [e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.