Immigration expert and columnist Jason Richwine in a post Wednesday, “Opposition Party Misleads on Immigrant Welfare Use,” exposes the flagrant bias in a “news” story published in the Washington Post. Following are excerpts from that post, which is well worth reading in its entirety:
Media bias is well known, but occasionally a major outlet will publish something that is so one-sided that it surprises even me. A Washington Post article yesterday by Abigail Hauslohner and Janell Ross meets that standard. Ostensibly a straight news piece about the Trump administration’s draft order on immigrant welfare receipt, the article instead reads like a brief from the “opposition party” as Steve Bannon would say.
Here is the most objectionable part of the article: “The draft order provides no evidence to support the claim that immigrant households are more likely to use welfare benefits, and there is no consensus among experts about immigration’s impact on such benefits.
Had the reporters googled “immigrant welfare use,” this is what would have appeared at the top of their screens:
“In 2012, 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households.”
As they scanned further down the results page, they would not see any contrary study claiming that immigrant households use less welfare — because no such study exists. Even if they were unable or unwilling to learn this information from the Internet, Hauslohner and Ross could have called someone who would give them those facts. They did not. Representatives from immigration-boosting organizations are quoted extensively in the article, but immigration skeptics get no say at all.
There’s more. Trying to give the impression that welfare eligibility rules are already strict, the reporters describe at length how immigrants are barred if they are likely to be “public charges,” and how legal immigrants cannot receive welfare for five years. A balanced article would note that the public charge rule is virtually never enforced, that Congress has significantly watered down the five-year rule, and that only about 15 percent of legal immigrant residents fall within the five-year window anyway. But this is not a balanced article.