To The Daily Sun,
Russ Wiles wrote a misleading letter (which may be a redundant statement) that denigrates Prof. E. Scott Cracraft and the prestigious Southern Poverty Law Center while giving us his argument of how illegal immigrants receive "welfare benefits." There's one problem with his argument. He says this is possible because the "native-born kids of those parents who came here illegally are eligible." What he forgets to mention is that a person born in this country is an American citizen. He or she is not an illegal alien to begin with.
Wiles also uses the Washington Free Beacon as a source. Relying on this site for truthful information is like citing the Aryan Nation on civil rights. The Free Beacon's activities have led to attacks from media critics and watchdog groups. The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf called the Free Beacon's stated mission "decadent and unethical." Media Matters for America founder David Brock sent a letter to news organizations in 2014 saying, "If credible media outlets regard the unethical practices of The Free Beacon as valid, all of journalism will be debased." New York Times described the Free Beacon's reporting as "gleeful evisceration." Wiles continues to try to mislead readers by citing sources that are, to say the least, highly unreliable.
You might be tempted to ask why this matters. We as readers must demand and expect accurate backup for Mr. Wiles' —or anyone else's -- arguments. But shady and shallow claims mislead and misinform at best. It is important that Wiles provide valid or credible sources for his claims. Sadly that's just not the case. One has to wonder why he purposely prefers to omit vital statistics from the Government Office of Accountability (USGAO) or the Social Security Administration or www.migrationpolicy.org or www.tolerance.org/immigration-myths. Each one of these sites give a much broader pictures of the facts and figures of the "benefits" or lack thereof received by illegal immigrants.
Case in point: The "U.S. Social Security Administration estimated that in 2013 undocumented immigrants — and their employers — paid $13 billion in payroll taxes alone for benefits they will never get. They can receive schooling and emergency medical care, but not welfare or food stamps."
While Wiles pretends that the Free Beacon is some sort of credible source he also willfully mischaracterizes the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is the premiere U.S. organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists, from the Ku Klux Klan to neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, black separatists, antigovernment militias, assorted hate groups and others. They track over 1,600 extremist groups around the country, publish reports, provide training to police. They've helped cripple some of the most violent hate groups by publicizing their activities and by suing them for murders and other violence they've committed.
Mr. Wiles should, and probably does, realize that you can't argue that something is true just because you cite some website. Maybe someone should let him know that you can't believe something just because it's on the internet. But more likely he doesn't care and is happy to cite non-credible sources if they back up his claim. He may figure that most readers won't know that his "proof" is really a sham source.
- Category: Letters
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