Yet, everywhere, the fight over the new Arizona law is called a debate over "immigration," rather than over "illegal immigration."
Thus, a New York Times headline
said "Immigration advocates rally for change." An Associated Press headline said "Deputy shot looking for immigrants." The BBC
: "Protests across U.S. over Arizona immigration law." The Los Angeles Times
: "Arizona lawmakers modify immigration law." Christian Science Monitor:
"May Day takes immigration fight to the street." Dallas Morning News
: "Details about Arizona immigration law."
The same is true in the discussion of immigrants' "rights." Yes, immigrants (legal) have rights, but to speak of Illegal immigrant rights is something vastly different. Thus, the Los Angeles Times notifies us
that "Thousands gather to rally for immigrant rights in downtown Los Angeles. And the Sun-Times
: "Immigrant rights activists plan dozens of rallies for Saturday."
And on and on it goes. Blogs and newscasts, politicians and activists, dishonestly or lazily calling the debate spurred by Arizona's new law a fight over "immigration" or "immigrants" rights.
The deceitful labeling of the debate is so widespread that you wonder how people (e.g. journalists) who are supposed to know better somehow became so ignorant or dishonest all at once.
Nothing in the Arizona law changes who qualifies for entry into the country. Or the procedure and timetable for becoming permanent alien residents. What it does change is how Arizona law enforcement officers can deal with illegal immigrants. The distinction is so obvious that it feels unnecessary to even mention it. Sadly, mention is necessary.
Otherwise, it is easy to cast opponents of illegal immigration as "anti-immigration" or, in too many cases, "racist." I don't expect this journalistic abuse or laziness to end because of the softening of professional standards and ethics in the industry. And the failure of many practitioners of "new media" to have even the slightest idea of professionalism.