Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nine arrested in immigration raid: Immigration status not known

By Nicholas Stix

Here’s the sort of thing you just can’t make up: A March 22 Associated Press story in the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer with the headline, “Nine arrested in immigration raid.” The suspects, “from Indonesia, Mexico and Guatemala,” were arrested working at a Charlotte Olive Garden restaurant. “The workers' names and their charges have not been released.”

That’s odd. If an American citizen of legal age is arrested, his name is released.

“ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said the nine workers will go before an immigration judge who will consider deportation. He said their immigration status is not public record.”

No, let me rewind to the top of that paragraph:

“ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said the nine workers will go before an immigration judge who will consider deportation. He said their immigration status is not public record.”

Initially, I wrote: Richard Rocha was lying, and the reporter had to know it; the immigration status of every living person resident in these Untied States is a matter of public record. Determining that status may be a problem, however, if a person’s true identity cannot be ascertained, which could well be an issue in this age of overdocumented invaders. But upon re-readng the paragraph in question, I saw that that would be overkill.

We do, however, know the name of one suspect: Amalia de la Cruz.

“The daughter of one woman arrested said her mother had worked at the restaurant for eight years. Adriana Sanchez said her mother, Amalia de la Cruz, 56, was from Mexico.’We want to talk to her and tell her not to sign anything,’ Sanchez said as she went to see her mother at the Mecklenburg County jail.”

That’s odd. How, if “The workers' names and their charges have not been released,” could one suspect’s daughter have already spoken with reporters? Because the names have been released.

We know the immigration status of every single one of the nine suspects, even if the statement attributed to Rocha before the ridiculous claim about not knowing the workers’ immigration status had been lacking. (Please see the headline.) What sort of dissociative mind is required for one to say or write too such logically incompatible sentences, one after the other?

After all, the authorities did not carry out a drug raid, or a raid of an establishment for serving alcohol to minors, and this wasn’t a raid by the local Health Department for using stolen food.

And to claim that the workers’ names have not been released, even as you name one of them? I suppose the children of illegal immigrants always have local reporters’ telephone numbers on speed dial. (I was being sarcastic, but maybe I shouldn’t have been.)

You have to scratch your head and wonder why the story lied about the illegals’ immigration status. The first thing to note is that the ICE mouthpiece, Richard Rocha, lied, and the AP quoted his lie. But he’s the same source as the line about the possible deportation proceedings. I was just starting to get used to the authorities (assuming the reporter’s indirect quotes of Rocha were honest) taking the lead in lying, where politically incorrect crimes are concerned. And socialist journalism professors and “journalism ethics experts” always love to talk about “objectivity.” But you don’t have to be a journalist to know that there is nothing journalistically objective in quoting unchallenged an obvious lie. But this business of indirectly quoting contradictory statements from the same source is new to me.

Let us briefly consider the AP’s possible motives for this offense.
1. The reporter (and/or Rocha?) wanted readers to know that the story was about illegals, but was forbidden by his editor (supervisor?) from doing so openly;
2. As is the case with many compulsive liars, the AP (and ICE?) lies even when doing so is obvious, just to keep in practice;
3. Someone at the AP with a sense of irony wanted to give readers a good belly laugh; and
4. The AP always tries to get the truth out (as one AP reporter once claimed to me, regarding an AP cover-up), but it’s those darned local editors that keep stymying them!

Numbers one and two are options, but neither three nor four is; at the AP, having a sense of irony is a firing offense (The AP is heavy with the kind of folks who will say, “isn’t it ironic,” while letting loose with a leaden political platitude.), and as for #4, I can’t prove that a clear statement wasn’t on the AP’s feeds, but if it was, the consistency in suppressing certain politically incorrect facts by AP’s thousands of client outlets around the world is just incredible.

The March 22 story was reported by an AP staffer under condition of anonymity.

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