News Is Often Misleading About Immigrant Community

April 9, 2015 8:37 am
by David Jakeman

The headlines blare shocking stories, highlighting massive sweeps nabbing fugitive criminal immigrants or stories of immigrants being arrested for terrorist plots. If you were to believe the headlines alone, you would see immigrants in the United States as criminals, and that is unfortunately what informs many people’s opinions about immigrants in the United States.

Misleading Immigrant Headlines

But that doesn’t tell the true story of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Undocumented immigrant communities tend to be much more law-abiding than the average American, with many individuals laying low, hoping to avoid running afoul of the law and being deported. Unfortunately, these stories about statistics are vastly outnumbered by stories like a recent national campaign that arrested 2,000 undocumented immigrants who had criminal records. Los Angeles immigration attorneys saw over 200 alone being nabbed in Southern California.

Government officials from the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led the charge to find convicted criminals who could be deported. These actions are in line with President Obama’s efforts to deport convicted undocumented immigrants rather than undocumented immigrants with no records. Among those nabbed were individuals convicted of child molestation, grand theft, and firearms violations.1

In Missouri, St. Louis immigration attorneys saw a similar story hit the news. Immigration officials recently arrested six individuals of Bosnian origin under charges of supporting ISIS. They were seen as conspiring to give support to a foreign terrorist group and plotting to kill and hurt people in another country.2

The Real Truth About Immigrants

These headlines give many people the impression that the immigrant community in the United States is fully of sneaky criminals seeking to take over the country, do us harm, or steal our babies. Perhaps that is exaggerating a little, but when people are already predisposed to be against the immigrant community, these small stories contribute to their negative opinions.
St. Louis immigration attorneys would be the first to tell you that their clients are not terrorists seeking to support global terror networks, but those are not the stories that make the headlines. Southern California immigration attorney s would be the first to let you know that the vast majority of their clients are simply in the country looking to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Even those with criminal records can be those who messed up once and are trying to put their life back on track. It’s not like the life as an immigrant is the easiest thing in the world. The pressures and challenges are enough to make almost anyone crack. What is surprising about headlines about criminal undocumented immigrants is not that there are so many, but that there are so few. Which goes to show you that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are just simply trying to put the pieces together in a global society filled with numerous disruptions. That’s something most any immigration lawyer could tell you.


1 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/ice-sweep-cross-check-arrests-immigrant-fugitive-295684411.html
2 http://www.kmov.com/news/crime/3-from-St-Louis-indicted-on-terrorism-charges-291122951.html