MISSING CONTEXT: Durango Herald, Fox 31 Perpetuate Immigration Mythology Through Omission Of Key Fact

The Capitol press corps has been perpetuating the immigration policy mythology that Democrats have always been for helping children of illegal immigrants by not providing key context.

That missing context? Democrats passed a ban on state services for illegals when they controlled both chambers of the Legislature in 2006.

The Colorado Observer is out with a must-read analysis piece that chronicles the evolution of Colorado Democrats from immigration hard-liners to immigration doves.

Just a few short years ago in Colorado, Democrats too were leading the legislative charge against illegal immigration – a fact that has been largely absent from most media reporting on the subject.

Colorado’s mainstream media rarely describes the coming year’s fight over same-sex union legislation without describing its unceremonious death in the past. But a TCO review of recent news related to the debate over in-state tuition for undocumented students failed to uncover a single occasion in which reports mentioned that a Democrat-controlled Colorado legislature was responsible for enacting the state law that bars illegal aliens from receiving most public benefits.

Based on coverage of the in-state tuition debate, few Coloradans would guess that just over six years ago, Colorado State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D-Denver), and State Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald (D-Golden) joined forces to pass an illegal immigration enforcement bill that was described in the Washington Post as “the toughest in the nation.”

TCO’s piece takes a direct direct shot at the state Capitol press for never…and we mean never…reporting that it was a Democratic-controlled House and Senate 7 years ago that enacted the sweeping ban on state services for undocumenteds in Colorado.

In 2006, the Democratic-controlled Legislature passed a law banning public benefits to illegal immigrants. It required proof of citizenship before receiving public benefits, declaring that the law was “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety.” (HB06S-1023)

The coverage of Senator Michael Johnston’s latest play for giving in-state tuition to undocumented high school students was riddled with this omission.

The Durango Herald‘s Joe Hanel…a normally fair-minded reporter…was guilty of this big time.

DENVER – After trying and failing six times in the last 10 years, advocates for immigrants see victory in sight for their drive to allow in-state college tuition for students who immigrated illegally. 

Democrats introduced Senate Bill 33 on Tuesday and held a crowded rally in the Capitol’s front hall to promote it.

Is it not worth mentioning that for most of that time it was the Democrats who controlled the State Legislature and Governor’s office? 

Is it not worth mentioning that in the midst of the 7-year string of failure for the in-state tuition bill that Democrats actually passed sweeping legislation that banned undocumenteds from receiving most state services? 

Fox 31‘s Eli Stokols fell into the trap too.

It was an early celebration of sorts, with supporters of the bill, introduced Tuesday as Senate Bill 33, knowing that the legislation is finally going to become law by session’s end.

“This is the seventh year that this bill has come before the General Assembly,” said Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “I’m certainly a believer in the lucky number seven.”

It won’t be luck, however, that gets this bill through the legislature — it’ll be the Democratic majorities in both the state House and Senate.

It is an embarassing omission that nowhere in his story did our friend Eli Stokols mention that it was the same Andrew Romanoff in the headlines these days for other reasons who donned his Tom Tancredo hat and banned illegals from receiving state programs in the first place.

Another omission from Stokols, Hanel and all the others…the fire breathing liberal and Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll was just a couple years ago a pivotal vote in defeating instate tuition for illegals. 

In fact, Romanoff and Fitz-Gerald’s bill counted among its supporters such liberal stalwarts as then-State Representative and current Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) and then-Rep. Terrance Carroll (D-Denver) – who currently serves as a trustee at Metro State College, where he has been an outspoken advocate for illegal alien tuition discounts.

We hold no hope that Capitol reporters will mask their adulation for Johnston’s plan. This is one photo-op they love. There will probably be more Republican support for it this time around too.

But reporters do have a professional responsibility to report the facts. The fact is that the Democrats defeated the in-state measure many times when they controlled the Capitol, and many of the same Democrats claiming the mantle of MLK yesterday joined Andrew Romanoff in passing the toughest immigration services ban in the country just a few short years ago.

Call it an evolution, call it a flip flop, but don’t warp the narrative by failing to call any attention to it at all.

 
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