Tulsa, OK TV 8: Immigrants ‘Afraid’ in The USA


By: Warner Todd Huston

Apparently, TV 8 (KTUL) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, wants us to know that illegal immigrants are all cowering in fear or streaming out of the USA today because of the crackdown on illegal immigration in the Sooner state. The Tulsa TV folks are trying to make it seem as if there is a climate of fear for illegals even as our government is bending over backwards to comfort illegal immigrants not to mention the fact that many thousands of illegals brazenly paraded, without being molested by bystanders or authorities, in the streets of several large US cities in protest for their “rights” not long ago. So how much “fear” could there be in the illegal underground in the USA? And why is KTUL trying to fan those flames?

The fearmongering and sensationalism by the TV report, “Hispanic Families Begin Packing Up & Moving Out”, is palpable and, it seems to me that their opening claim is a bit suspect.

Thousands of Tulsa families are now packing up and moving out in light of Oklahoma’s new immigration law. Police and deputies can ask about citizenship when a person is arrested and if someone can’t prove it, that person can be deported. We spoke with one family that says it’s leaving Tulsa next week.

KTUL assures us that “Thousands of families are leaving because they don’t want to get deported.” But, thousands? I’d like to see some proof of that… not that the TV station helps us out with anything like “proof” of their clams. KTUL just states them like the Gospel truth without trying to prove anything. Additionally, TV 8 also doesn’t seem to mention where these “thousands” are moving to.

The story is written so that the conclusion might be reached by the viewer that these illegals are moving back to Mexico, but — once again — TV 8 does not give us anything like enough facts to say so. TV 8 tries to foster the feeling that all these illegals are moving back to Mexico, without really saying it directly in their report.

“My husband was thinking about going back to Mexico, but this is my country. I have been here forever, you know.”

Thinking about it is not doing it. But KTUL clearly wants to lead people to imagine that this is where they are going, that we mean ‘ol Americans are forcing these innocent illegals to leave the country in fear.

All this over the new law in Oklahoma where police are at last being permitted to ask the legal status of suspects and set them to deportation if necessary. KTUL also spins the report of the new law to make it seem as if this thing is somehow illicitly affecting innocent people. And I don’t say “innocent” flippantly, here. KTUL uses the word themselves.

Like thousands of Tulsa families, Maria and her husband fear police will ask if they’re citizens. House Bill 1804 gives officers that authority, and even though police say they will only question criminals, Maria worries innocent families like hers will also be targeted.

Did you catch the descriptive of these people? They call them “Tulsa families” and “innocent families” as if these are just people going about their normal lives and the Nazi storm troopers in Oklahoma police uniforms are going to batter their doors down to deport them. If they aren’t legal, they aren’t “Tulsa families” and they certainly aren’t “innocent” but are people living outside the law. But, KTUL TV is really pulling out the stops to get us to have sympathy for these lawbreakers.

As the saying goes, “What part of illegal don’t you understand?”

OK, here is the thing. Yes, many will be discomforted if we Americans finally start enforcing our immigration laws. If many “thousands” go home, that is a good thing and it is certainly true that many will go home if we do start enforcing our laws. It has been shown that many have decided not to even try to come here with our current drift toward enforcing immigrations laws and building the fence. We are at long last making illegal immigrants feel unwelcome. That is all good. (For instance, see this New York Times article)

But, for KTUL to fan the flames of their fear with this report is neither constructive nor even a true example of the real situation illegals face. Few illegal immigrants have anything to fear of our government. They will not be rounded up and placed in concentration camps preparatory to their mass deportation. Worse, it might cause them to do desperate things in their fear that KTUL is fanning to ever higher heights.

Maybe they do have fears, but those fears are baseless. Heck, there is an entire, major political party that wants to give them total amnesty and the other one that has half it’s members in Congress that want the same thing. It would appear to me that KTUL is irresponsibly going for the exploitative angle of this story and focusing on the very few illegals that are afraid and fanning that flame to get a story.

Lastly, it makes one wonder what KTUL wants us to do about it? Reverse these laws? Allow millions to come here unfettered to overwhelm our support systems and strain our resources? If they are afraid and leave, that solves a problem, it doesn’t create any.

So, what is TV 8′s point here, exactly?

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