Chicago Immigration Enthusiast Picks His Spots
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Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown (e-mail him) isn't your ordinary wordsmith who works just to fill his allotted space. In fact, he's downright picky about which issues are worth condemning or defending.

Last year, for example, he used his literary skills to mock dairy owner and senatorial candidate Jim Oberweis for his stance against illegal immigration ("Oberweis serves up10,000 scoops of bigotry," March 10), and several weeks ago he bemoaned the "plight" of a illegal alien Teresa Figueroa who was ordered deported because she had used someone else's Social Security number to get a job at Micron Industries in Elmhurst, IL, where she was twice honored as "employee of the month,." ("Undocumented worker pays price for immigration policy," April 10).

Brown whined that if only our oppressive federal government had given this church-going, community-minded woman a chance, she would have become "a good American." (By the way, other members of Figueroa's family also are here illegally. Ditto for many other Micron workers, according to her.)

The other day I dropped Brown a note asking why, after more than a week had passed since Mexican President Vicente Fox said American blacks are lazy, lacked dignity and willpower, his legions of adoring readers had heard nothing from him about this issue.

"What criteria do you have that determines those issues worthy of your outrage?" I asked Brown.

Brown replied, "As the columnist, I get to pick my own spots. Thanks for writing."

I had the privilege of working for 13 years with the late columnist Mike Royko at the old Chicago Daily News, and Mike could get away with saying that sort of thing.

You'll just have to trust me on this: Mark Brown is no Mike Royko.

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