The Ramos Rules

By Jerry Kammer on October 7, 2015

In an interview with Terry Gross for her "Fresh Air" program on NPR Monday, Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos provided a glimpse into his reasoning on immigration. As seen in the excerpts below, Ramos makes no distinction between "undocumented immigrants" and legal immigrants. He believes that since Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are Latinos whose parents immigrated to the United States they should support illegal immigration. It is irrelevant to Ramos that that their parents came legally. Here it is clear that Ramos's argument benefits from the change in terminology for the national immigration discussion. The term "immigrant" was long used in a way consistent with its meaning under federal law, which defines an immigrant as someone admitted for residence in the United States. Those who were once identified as "illegal aliens" are now covered under the linguistic umbrella of "immigrants". Ramos has made his reporting a crusade for the proposition that both groups should be covered by the same legal protections.

In his second response, Ramos deftly shifts the discussion away from the conduct of the "undocumented". He assigns responsibility for illegal immigration not to the immigrants themselves, but to the Americans who hired them. He also suggests that society as a whole is responsible for illegal immigration

Ramos on Rubio and Cruz: "They are not defending undocumented immigrants. And therefore they are allowing people to attack 11 million people who at some point were just like their parents. And that's very difficult to understand."

Gross: Wouldn't they say that their parents came legally, and stayed legally?

Ramos: Yes, but also we have to understand that we all come from immigrant families. And I really can't understand how someone who gets to this country decides at one point to close the door to those who came after them. I do understand that 11 million people came illegally, that they broke the law by coming to this country or by staying in this country after their visas expired. However, we also have to take responsibility. And we don't do that publicly. We have to take responsibility because there are thousands of American companies who hired them. In other words, they didn't come here to go to Disneyland. They came here to work. They came here to do the jobs that nobody else wants to do.


Next: A look at what Ramos said about his philosophy of talking with those who disagree with him on immigration.