Ideological Smears Masquerading as Journalism at The Hill

By Dan Cadman on April 17, 2017
The Hill

published an article last week, "DHS hires incense immigration supporters". The piece focuses on the displeasure of various migrant advocacy and open-borders groups that two persons, Jon Feere and Julie Kirchner were given jobs in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies.

Feere was brought into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as an advisor to its acting director; and Kirchner is now serving as an advisor to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner.

The author of the article, Rafael Bernal, insinuates, without ever directly saying so, that there is something unseemly about it all. Feere previously worked here at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) as the legal policy analyst; Kirchner was executive director at the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR). Bernal refers to each of these organizations as "far right", which is certainly intended as a smear, and trots out the nonsense that we are listed by the SPLC as a "hate group" — something we have categorically refuted again and again, and again, and again, and which we will continue to refute.

If you are Bernal, it's nice to be able to quote an irresponsible fear-monger like the SPLC so as to escape actually having to justify your words the way you would if you, yourself, referred to either organization as a hate group, isn't it? It's despicable and ethically dubious for allegedly open-minded "journalists", but it's free of consequence, and a great way to lob cheap shots while avoiding accountability. Ironically, Feere was a frequent contributor of articles published in The Hill for the past several years. They didn't seem to think him unrespectable then.

I won't arrogate to myself the right to speak for FAIR since I don't work there, but casting CIS as far-right is laugh-out-loud ridiculous. As I have said many times, the people who make up CIS represent a left-to-right spectrum of political and ideological positions. The one thing that unites us is our belief that immigration policies should be crafted in the national interest; that unrestrained immigration has been damaging to our society; and that respect for the law is a key component of any civil society. I don't see anything pernicious in that.

But back to the issue about hiring these two. So, let's see if I have this right: A president who campaigned on bringing back prudent immigration law enforcement and control measures then hires two individuals, who held responsible positions at think tank organizations that urge limited immigration and that advocate enforcement of the law, to work at two agencies that are primarily responsible for immigration enforcement and control, on the border and in the interior of the United States. Oh the horror.

Where, I'm asking, was the journalistic outrage when the prior president hired so many leftist open-borders advocates, chief among them Cecilia Munoz of the National Council of La Raza (which has its origins in a genuine racial-supremacist ideology) to "oversee" immigration control functions — which they did by dismantling the machineries of enforcement, and by ensuring that adjudication of benefits was always and simply a matter of "get to yes"?