Tuesday, April 8, 2008
CBS Evening News with Katie Couric began a four-part series that began Monday called "Immigration Nation." Below is a synopsis of each day:
"IMMIGRATION NATION" PART ONE 4/7 - Born in America We profile and witness an Mexican woman giving birth in America, after crossing the border into Texas to guarantee her son American citizenship with its privileges, including health care and education. One of 300,000 children of illegal immigrants born in America every year. Costing taxpayers an estimated 1.1 billion in healthcare alone. Frustrated by the Congress' failure to pass immigration reform, we'll meet a congressman part of a movement to challenge the 14th amendment guaranteeing US citizenship for any child born in America. Byron Pitts reports. Watch it here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/07/eveningnews/main4000401.shtml
PART TWO 4/8 - The Border The only immigration reform Congress managed to pass was funding to build a fence along the Mexican border. It's been a frustrating and expensive experiment. Plans call for only 670 miles of the 2000 mile border to be fenced...and even that limited construction could cost $50 BILLION when you consider a lifetime of maintenance. Yes, apprehensions are down, meaning fewer illegals are trying to cross into America. But Whitaker will show us how many ways people are getting around the fence...how vast are the gaps. The Administration just announced it will bypass state laws impeding the completion of this fence by the end of the year. But the fact is, if you build it, people will find a way around it. Bill Whitaker reports.
PART THREE 4/9 - The Farmer After years of luring immigrant workers north with farm jobs, there's now movement across the border the OTHER way. We'll meet an American farmer who so far has had to relocate 25 percent of his operation in Mexico because he can't find workers. The Western Growers Association says they need 30 percent more workers than they're able to hire. But a bill to let more farm workers in legally died in Congress last year. And so, we'll see our American farmer harvesting his lettuce crop south of the border, in Mexico. John Blackstone reports.
PART FOUR 4/10 - The Arizona Crackdown Last year many states and communities took it upon themselves to do what Congress failed to do. And the toughest laws in the nation took effect in January in Arizona. If a business owner knowingly hires an illegal immigrant, they won't simply be fined...they'll be shut down. And so we see bus loads of immigrants leaving phoenix. Schools report fewer students. Businesses are closing down. The owner of a burger chain tells Tracy he's had to hire two people and spend $500,000 just to comply with new requirements .. and he's scrapped plans to open 40 new stores, because it's just too much work. 15 other states are considering laws like Arizona's. Ben Tracy reports.
On April 7, 2008, Truth in Immigration was highly critical of this news series:
"Katie Couric and CBS Evening News took a page from the Lou Dobbs playbook in presenting a misleading and inaccurate portrayal of the role of immigrants in U.S. society. In this report, Ms. Couric and CBS News fall well short of the journalistic standards set by former CBS News anchors Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite." For more on the negative fallout from the series (from Politico.com), click here.