At the turn of the 21st century, the editorial board at the New York Times published an editorial on amnesty for illegal aliens. That the paper would print a piece on that topic comes as no surprise, but the angle the editors took in 2000 would surely be dismissed by today’s editorial staff.
There was a time not too long ago when thought leaders at the New York Times’ editorial desk sought to advance principles that protect American workers and the rule of law.
In an editorial the Times ran on February 22, 2000, the paper dealt with facts, not emotions -- things now considered to be outdated and politically incorrect, according to the mainstream media of 2015.
Outlining its views, the paper wrote:
“Amnesty would undermine the integrity of the country's immigration laws”
“Amnesty would depress the wages of its lowest-paid native-born workers”
“Back in 1986… At that time, this page endorsed amnesty because it was tied to measures that promised to keep further rounds of illegal immigration in check. But 14 years later there are twice as many illegal workers, and employer sanctions are widely deemed a joke.”
“The primary problem with amnesties is that they beget more illegal immigration. Demographers trace the doubling of the number of Mexican immigrants since 1990 in part to the amnesty of the 1980's.”
“Amnesties signal foreign workers that American citizenship can be had by sneaking across the border, or staying beyond the term of one's visa, and hiding out until Congress passes the next amnesty.”
“The 1980's amnesty also attracted a large flow of illegal relatives of those workers who became newly legal. All that is unfair to those who play by the immigration rules and wait years to gain legal admission.”
“It is also unfair to unskilled workers already in the United States. Between about 1980 and 1995, the gap between the wages of high school dropouts and all other workers widened substantially… almost half of this trend can be traced to immigration of unskilled workers.”
“Illegal immigration of unskilled workers induced by another amnesty would make matters worse. The better course of action is to honor America's proud tradition by continuing to welcome legal immigrants and find ways to punish employers who refuse to obey the law.”
We at the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) wholeheartedly agree with all of these assessments. In fact, we couldn’t have said it better.
This 2000 piece appears to have been intended as pushback against pro-amnesty supporters by detailing the negative effects of the 1986 amnesty.
The Times’ column was intended to serve as a warning to Americans back then, but can also serve as a lesson to our nation now as Obama’s amnesty programs sit on hold. Congress still has the chance to defund the president’s unlegislated amnesty and avoid the inevitable social and economic consequences these programs would bring about.
FAIR and its supporters still adhere to all of these principles, as do the majority of Americans.. But we want to know why the New York Times abandoned its responsibility to be truthful with American citizens. Why do facts from 15 years ago no longer ring true?
The destructive effects of amnesty are tried and true; so why has America’s paper of record gone AWOL from the truth?