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LULAC Ohio Request for Meeting with PD & NEOMG to Discuss Kevin O'Brien Op-Ed, "Illegal Immigrants Don't Want to Be Americans"

LULAC Ohio Request for Meeting with PD & NEOMG to Discuss Kevin O'Brien Op-Ed, "Illegal Immigrants Don't Want to Be Americans"

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Dear Ms. Hogben:

I serve as the Civil Rights Director of the Ohio Chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (“LULAC”). LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic Organization in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanics through community-based programs operating at more than 900 LULAC councils nationwide.

I am writing to follow-up on a letter sent to you by Mr. Hugo Urizar, President of the LULAC Chapter in Cleveland, Ohio, dated April 16, 2014. A copy is attached along with accompanying research.

In his 4-page letter, Mr. Urizar outlined his substantial criticisms of the Op-Ed you published on April 6, 2014, titled “Illegal Immigrants Don’t Want to Be Americans,” authored by Mr. Kevin O’Brien, Deputy Editor of the Editorial Page of the Plain Dealer. In this correspondence, Mr. Urizar also requested a meeting with you to discuss the issues that he has raised.

Mr. Urizar has not heard back from you nor from any of your representatives.


Please know that I concur with all of the sentiments expressed by Mr. Urizar and I reiterate our organization’s request to schedule a meeting with you to share our perspectives.

Our objections to the aforementioned Op-Ed have less to do with Mr. O’Brien’s First Amendment rights to express his opinion and more to do with your decision to publish it. Our primary objection is that Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Plain Dealer Editorial Board decided to publish a piece that is factually inaccurate, substantially violates fundamental journalistic standards, and is intended to fuel the fires of intolerance in Northeast Ohio and across the country.

Without offering any evidence, without citing any study, without quoting any expert, O’Brien stated the following about the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in America:

• “Citizenship is the last very last thing on their minds. Money is first.”
• “You won’t find any such commitments in today’s illegal ‘immigrants.’ They’re here to use America.”
• “Contrast that with the vast majority of ‘immigrants,’ who arrive illegally and with no interest whatsoever in contributing to a better, stronger America.”
• “In no way does the scant benefit of cheap labor begin to offset the damage that is being done to American law and culture.”
• “But they can’t do it legally, so their lives stay there, even when their bodies are here. And going back with a bag of dollars earned up north in the land of opportunity has a lot of appeal, too.”

The evidence, ignored by O’Brien, suggests the exact opposite.

The Pew Hispanic Center conducted a survey in 2012 which found that 93% of Hispanic immigrants wanted to become U.S. citizens. This was true both for those who are legal permanent residents (96%) and for those who aren’t (92%). According to Pew, “the vast majority of the latter group is in the country illegally.” Please see attached.

This trend of immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, to dream of one day achieving U.S. citizenship is demonstrated in the increasing numbers of naturalizations.

In 2013, the Migration Policy Institute reported the following the following:

“According to DHS data, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalized 694,193 LPRs in 2011. The total number of immigrants naturalized increased by 12 percent between 2010 and 2011.

From a historical perspective, the number of naturalizations has increased dramatically in recent decades. On average, 141, 000 LPRs naturalized each year between 1970 and 1979; 205,000 on average per year in the 1980s; 498,000 per year on average in the 1990s; and 682,000 per year on average during the 2000s.

The number of naturalizations reached an all-time high in 2008 (1,046,539)….”

Please see attached.

Publishing this piece which is full of inaccurate statements and devoid of one single study o
Dear Ms. Hogben:

I serve as the Civil Rights Director of the Ohio Chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (“LULAC”). LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic Organization in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanics through community-based programs operating at more than 900 LULAC councils nationwide.

I am writing to follow-up on a letter sent to you by Mr. Hugo Urizar, President of the LULAC Chapter in Cleveland, Ohio, dated April 16, 2014. A copy is attached along with accompanying research.

In his 4-page letter, Mr. Urizar outlined his substantial criticisms of the Op-Ed you published on April 6, 2014, titled “Illegal Immigrants Don’t Want to Be Americans,” authored by Mr. Kevin O’Brien, Deputy Editor of the Editorial Page of the Plain Dealer. In this correspondence, Mr. Urizar also requested a meeting with you to discuss the issues that he has raised.

Mr. Urizar has not heard back from you nor from any of your representatives.


Please know that I concur with all of the sentiments expressed by Mr. Urizar and I reiterate our organization’s request to schedule a meeting with you to share our perspectives.

Our objections to the aforementioned Op-Ed have less to do with Mr. O’Brien’s First Amendment rights to express his opinion and more to do with your decision to publish it. Our primary objection is that Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Plain Dealer Editorial Board decided to publish a piece that is factually inaccurate, substantially violates fundamental journalistic standards, and is intended to fuel the fires of intolerance in Northeast Ohio and across the country.

Without offering any evidence, without citing any study, without quoting any expert, O’Brien stated the following about the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in America:

• “Citizenship is the last very last thing on their minds. Money is first.”
• “You won’t find any such commitments in today’s illegal ‘immigrants.’ They’re here to use America.”
• “Contrast that with the vast majority of ‘immigrants,’ who arrive illegally and with no interest whatsoever in contributing to a better, stronger America.”
• “In no way does the scant benefit of cheap labor begin to offset the damage that is being done to American law and culture.”
• “But they can’t do it legally, so their lives stay there, even when their bodies are here. And going back with a bag of dollars earned up north in the land of opportunity has a lot of appeal, too.”

The evidence, ignored by O’Brien, suggests the exact opposite.

The Pew Hispanic Center conducted a survey in 2012 which found that 93% of Hispanic immigrants wanted to become U.S. citizens. This was true both for those who are legal permanent residents (96%) and for those who aren’t (92%). According to Pew, “the vast majority of the latter group is in the country illegally.” Please see attached.

This trend of immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, to dream of one day achieving U.S. citizenship is demonstrated in the increasing numbers of naturalizations.

In 2013, the Migration Policy Institute reported the following the following:

“According to DHS data, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalized 694,193 LPRs in 2011. The total number of immigrants naturalized increased by 12 percent between 2010 and 2011.

From a historical perspective, the number of naturalizations has increased dramatically in recent decades. On average, 141, 000 LPRs naturalized each year between 1970 and 1979; 205,000 on average per year in the 1980s; 498,000 per year on average in the 1990s; and 682,000 per year on average during the 2000s.

The number of naturalizations reached an all-time high in 2008 (1,046,539)….”

Please see attached.

Publishing this piece which is full of inaccurate statements and devoid of one single study o

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Categories:Types, Presentations
Published by: Richard Herman, Cleveland Immigration Lawyer on Apr 30, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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