Tag Archives: USA Today

Immigrant tide is reversing itself


The world remains focused on events in, say, Syria and Europe.

However, get a load of this item: More Mexican citizens returned to their home country over a five-year period than came into the United States.

The Pew Research Center said that from 2009 to 2014, more than 1 million Mexicans returned home while 870,000 of them came to the United States.

Does that change the debate in this country? Quite possibly.

Presidential candidates — particularly some of them on the Republican side — have made immigration a theme of the upcoming White House campaign.

I’m not at all sure what the trend suggests. Pew is a reliable research outfit, with findings that are well-documented.¬†One theory being kicked around¬†is that the Great Recession of 2008-09 in the United States removed an incentive for Mexican citizens to come to the United States in search of jobs.

The inflow of migrants could increase as the U.S. economy continues to improve, according to Mark Hugo Lopez, a Hispanic researcher for Pew. According to USA Today, “In coming years, he said,¬†the number of Mexicans may increase again if the U.S. economy continues to¬†improve. But steady growth of¬†Mexico’s economy and tighter controls¬†along the southwest border mean¬†the United¬†States won’t see another massive wave of legal and illegal immigration like it did in recent decades, when the number of Mexican-born immigrants¬†ballooned from 3 million to nearly 13 million, he said.”

Lopez added that the era of Mexican migration might be at an end.

So, while our attention is diverted to places far away, we see some interesting trends right at our doorstep.

Don’t look for critics of U.S. immigration policy to proclaim this as good news. Indeed, if foreign nationals anywhere in the world can find¬†prosperity at home, well, that reduces the strain on the Land of Opportunity.

I consider that to be good news.


Better take a hard look at border security, eh?

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez is accused of killing Kate Steinle in a horrific act of random violence.

It happened in San Francisco, a “sanctuary city.”

Lopez-Sanchez was in this country illegally. What’s worse — and a lot worse, at that — is that he’d been deported four times, sent back to Mexico. His fifth illegal re-entry resulted in Steinle’s shooting death.


This case has resonated on several levels, each of which is worthy of comment.

First, there must be some head-knocking occurring at Immigration and Naturalization Service, Border Patrol and Homeland Security offices. How in the world does someone keep getting into this country after getting caught and deported multiple times?

Second, it is time to re-examine this whole concept of “sanctuary city,” which is aimed at giving immigrants a way to avoid being captured by federal immigration authorities. As USA Today said in an editorial: “San Francisco is one of nearly 300 cities and counties across the country with sanctuary laws or policies aimed at separating federal immigration enforcement from local policing, in order to build trust between immigrant communities and local police. The reasoning goes like this: If immigrants, including millions of undocumented ones, see local police officers as a tool for deportation, they will not report crimes or come forward as witnesses, even when they are victims, and public safely will suffer.”

That reasoning did not work in this tragic case.

Third, President Barack Obama has been oddly silent about Steinle’s death. Why is that, Mr. President? Your critics make a valid point that you should be leading the nation in mourning the death of a young woman whose life was taken by someone who shouldn’t have been here in the first place.

Am I going to join the Donald Trump amen chorus in implying that most illegal immigrants are here to commit the kind of act that Lopez-Sanchez is accused of committing? Not on your life.

But the system failed us badly. A young woman’s family is grieving. A nation needs answers.

Why the attention to Tim Tebow?

Tim Tebow seems like a fine young man.

He put together a stellar career as a quarterback at the University of Florida. He won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate player. Then he became a pro and has, well, had a not-so-stellar career playing football for a living.

He’s tried out for various teams, been cut, come back for more, been cut some more.

He’s been hired by TV networks to provide soft features and so forth.


And oh yes, he’s also demonstrated his religious faith, which many Americans — me included — find appealing.

Therein might be the reason — his devout faith — for the continuing interest in a young man who probably never will become a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL.

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed him¬†to a one-year contract. He’s the No. 4 QB in the Eagles’ depth chart.

Will he succeed, ever? Likely not, according to USA Today: “The sad truth is that success in college is rarely a guarantee of success in the pros ‚ÄĒ quite the opposite in many cases. With the exception of Cam Newton, quarterbacks who won the Heisman have generally been a bust in the NFL.”

Tebow’s vocal fan base will keep the interest high as this young man keeps trying to find a place on some team’s roster. But as the essay attached to this post notes, the interest in Tebow has more to do with his faith than it does in football.

Thus, as today’s media culture will allow it, the drama will continue to play out.


NBC anchor getting pulled under

It’s hard to watch this, but I’m getting the feeling — just a few days into a strange saga of “misremembrance” — that a highly visible TV news anchor may be on his way out.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is still facing questions about a story he made up — or “misremembered,” as he described it — about an incident in Iraq in 2003. He had been saying for a dozen years that a helicopter in which he was a passenger had been shot down by rocket fire. It turns out the shoot-down with Williams aboard didn’t happen.

Williams reported the other day about how an Army command sergeant major had helped rescue him and his fellow passengers after their ship was shot down. The report got a lot of play and Williams stood and accepted the cheers at Madison Square Garden alongside retired Sgt. Maj. Tim Terpak, the young man who engineered the rescue. Other veterans, though, spoke up and said the incident Williams described didn’t happen the way he described it; they said¬†Williams wasn’t aboard the stricken Chinook helicopter.


Now comes word that Williams might have fabricated what he saw in New Orleans while covering the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. Williams reported serious flooding in the French Quarter. To borrow a phrase: oops! The French Quarter largely escaped the floodwaters that devastated much of the Big Easy.

NBC News has announced it is launching an internal investigation into what Williams said and did in Iraq and in New Orleans.

Williams has traded on the trust he has built with news watchers over many years in the anchor’s chair.

It’s difficult to imagine how a viewer of the NBC newscast each night can trust Williams now with telling us the truth about what he is reporting from the anchor’s chair.

What’s more, his apology has seemed somewhat muted, as he’s sought to wrap himself in the flag. Consider this from USA Today: “On air Wednesday night, Williams said he had ‘made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,’ that the whole incident was simply ‘a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served everywhere while I did not.'”

From where I am sitting, that looks and sound a bit like spin.

NBC’s main anchorman is facing a steep climb back to respectability.