False cause and effect

False cause and effect

PE Bias Grade : C-

By: Allen Nitschelm on August 27, 2019 | Article Review

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title Data show citizenship boosts immigrants
Date 08/20/2019
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A2 )
Syndicated From Associated Press
Journalist Mike Schneider
Article Summary

Globe tries to assert causation between citizenship and success in America.

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Many immigrants come here with the hope of becoming a citizen. Those who are successful, by and large, appear to share in the American Dream. That is what the census study found.

The Globe reports this as an indictment of Donald Trump because he is trying to deny illegal immigrants access to the country. If we would just let them come in and become citizens, look how successful they would be! When immigrants do not become citizens, they have higher poverty, lower education levels, etc.

So this narrative presents a false cause and effect. It makes readers think that citizenship is causing this success. If we just let illegal aliens become citizens too, they would be just as successful.

The headline is incorrect. “Citizenship” does not boost immigrants. Immigrants who become citizens tend to be well educated and successful. People who come here and are on a citizenship track do well and when they achieve their goal, they are as successful as other Americans, on average. So the statistics support legal immigration…but that isn’t the headline, of course.

The article also says the Trump administration is trying to “stop the flow of immigrants”. That is not true. Trump is trying to stop illegal immigration and to end things like chain migration and the visa lottery. Since the Democrats will not negotiate any changes to our immigration policies, we can’t say what Trump would propose in its place, but he has said repeatedly that he favors legal immigration and with our low unemployment numbers, we need more workers. But this common Trump smear is meant to paint him as an opponent of all immigrants–i.e., he is against “people of color” and is xenophobic.

The fact that illegal immigrants have to live in the shadows, in fear of deportation, unable (in theory) to get a job or get welfare benefits, should make the writer conclude that maybe coming here illegally is not such a great idea. Maybe encouraging illegal entry is exploitative and dangerous. Maybe using the sad story of illegal immigration to paint President Trump as xenophobic and cruel is not worth the political goal of his opponents or the suffering of the illegals who are being exploited by the Left to further their goals.


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Rating: 3.0/10.