Immigration is one of our generation’s most pressing issues, yet we continue to ignore how it affects all our daily lives.
Last week, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jose Vargas spoke about his recently “outed” status as an undocumented immigrant. He pointed out that conscious people have a responsibility to be completely awake and connect the dots for those who are “asleep.”
One root of public unconsciousness is the lack of critical debate on immigration. While the media have a responsibility to produce and transmit unbiased news in order to incite discussion that helps create an informed citizenry, they have failed.
On the topic of immigration, the media regurgitate quotes from politicians about the need for tighter border security to prevent “illegal” immigrants from crossing onto American soil. According to the Immigration Policy Center, the government takes a collective $11.2 billion from them each year. Yet the media ignore the fact that our country profits from the same individuals some people aim to demonize.
For a society that purports itself as the land of opportunity, its members should not have to live in fear. Until the media expose different viewpoints, we cannot become a truly cultured public or change the inherently racist perception of the immigration issue.