Former Mayor Ed Koch is very upset with The New York Times at the moment.
The cause? An editorial on immigration, where the the publication of record saw a new opportunity to push for reform in the wake of Republican election losses this year. But Mr. Koch, in one of his regular missives typically containing movie reviews, instead used the space to accuse The Times of overreaching in its rhetoric.
“I have never read a more biased editorial than The New York Times editorial of November 18th,” Mr. Koch began. “The Times in its editorials rarely refers to ‘illegal’ immigrants. It generally refers to them simply as immigrants, making no distinction between the legal and the illegal; sometimes, it refers to them as ‘undocumented,’ and its newest description is ‘unauthorized.’”
Mr. Koch went on to castigate The Times for its “full-throated call for amnesty,” and for using a straw man depiction, “hardliners against reform — including the white-culture alarmists and the closet racists,” to make their argument.
“I repeat, I have never seen a more intolerant editorial in language and tone appear in The New York Times,” the former mayor said. “The Times editorial board should apologize for its outrageous description of opponents of amnesty and allow a debate to ensue presenting the arguments fairly on both sides.”
View Mr. Koch’s full commentary below:
The New York Times Editorial of November 18th On Immigration Reform Is A Disgrace
I have never read a more biased editorial than The New York Times editorial of November 18th, entitled, “New Hope on Immigration.” It advocates, as it has for years, providing amnesty for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now residing within the borders of the United States.
The Times in its editorials rarely refers to “illegal” immigrants. It generally refers to them simply as immigrants, making no distinction between the legal and the illegal; sometimes, it refers to them as “undocumented,” and its newest description is “unauthorized.”
In its editorial ,The Times libels those Americans who believe that the U.S. should not have open borders. No country in the world has an open-door policy. The Times editorial refers to the opponents of open borders and amnesty as, “The hardliners against reform — including the white-culture alarmists and the closet racists.” It contrasts them with those “behind reform – student activists, business groups, farmers, labor unions, Catholic bishops, evangelical churches, African-Americans, civil-liberties organizations and regular American citizens who support legalization.” I believe a majority of Americans oppose the amnesty legislation. Because of their opposition, the proposal has been defeated several times in Congress.
Many of those opposed to an amnesty providing a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, support a compassionate response such as the “Dream Act.” That act, which President Obama implemented by executive order, allows youngsters brought here by their parents illegally to remain here, receive a green card permitting them to work, and exempts them from deportation pending passage by the Congress of the Dream Act. Many would support keeping families together and include the parents in the amnesty ultimately provided the youngsters covered by the proposed Dream Act. Supporting such a broad amnesty is a good example of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s comment “defining deviancy down,” meaning if you can’t control illegality, accept it and make it legal.
The Times in its full-throated call for amnesty and a change in immigration policy denounces opponents by stating they “despise illegals.” Untrue. The opponents believe the U.S. should enforce its immigration policy and not allow the law to be ignored and violated with impunity. Many of us believe that our current policy of permitting 750,000 aliens and 250,000 refugees to enter each year, all of whom are eligible for U.S. citizenship, should be amended to expand the number and allow more of those waiting in line for their turn to come in. The Times apparently believes no one should have to wait, and the walls should come tumbling down.
The Times even believes that those it refers to as “minor offenders” should be welcomed to stay, the “minor offenders” language generally referring to those who have committed misdemeanors where the crime is subject to up to a maximum one-year prison sentence. The Times states that “[t]here is enforcement work to be done like finding more effective ways to stifle illegal employment, but any strategy that fixates on deportation and the border is foolish and ineffective.” Ridiculous.
The Times objects to President Obama’s successful efforts to find and deport those who have committed crimes, other than the crime of illegal entry, resulting in 400,000 deportations annually. It opposes the federal government through Homeland Security using “state and local police officers” to help the feds in enforcing the law. President Obama’s policy has been to secure the borders before providing amnesty legislation. Amnesty legislation did not solve the problem in the 1980s when it was employed and won’t solve it now. Millions of people from around the world want to live in the U.S. and do not want to wait in line, as they must and do for every other country, including Mexico. Providing a blanket amnesty now simply encourages others to enter illegally and wait for the next amnesty.
I repeat, I have never seen a more intolerant editorial in language and tone appear in The New York Times. The Times editorial board should apologize for its outrageous description of opponents of amnesty and allow a debate to ensue presenting the arguments fairly on both sides. The Times editorial can be seen at: