On Anti-Refugee Bill, New York Times Embraces Paul Ryan’s Spin

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Here’s Carl Hulse, reporting for the New York Times on Paul Ryan’s bill that refugee advocates say would effectively suspend the admission of Syrian and Iraqi war refugees to the United States:

The measure technically does not suspend the refugee program, providing Republicans some cover from criticism they were denying refugees a chance for escape.

If refugee advocates opposing the bill are correct in their assessments, then Carl Hulse’s reporting was deeply misleading, unless you understand the word “technically” to mean “it claims not to, while effectively doing so.”

Here’s the American Immigration Lawyers Association:

AILA urges House members to vote NO on Representative McCaul’s American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015 (H.R. 4038), which would halt the refugee resettlement program for Iraqis and Syrians.

Here’s the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:

Members of Congress have proposed extreme measures that would exclude all Syrian refugees from the protection of the United States resettlement system, such as the “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015,” introduced by Representative McCaul (R-TX).

Here’s the New York Times editorial board: [my emphasis]

Given these facts, it is fair to say that the people who will be denied resettlement by this bill would be the victims of war, people who have been tortured and threatened by the same jihadists the United States now battles. They are families, they are old people and they are children, who might be given a chance for an education and a future.

Hulse allows that the bill “would be rejected by President Obama, who has expressed strong confidence in the current system of vetting refugees.”

Here’s someone else has “expressed strong confidence in the current system of vetting refugees”: Michael Chertoff, head of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, who told the Wall Street Journal that “our vetting process works,” and that admitting Syrian refugees “makes sense strategically” because failing to do so would “play into the narrative of the bad guy.”

By embracing Paul Ryan’s spin that the bill “technically does not suspend the refugee program, providing Republicans some cover from criticism they were denying refugees a chance for escape,” the New York Times’ reporting effectively issued a peremptory ruling against the concerns of refugee advocates. You can urge the New York Times Public Editor to investigate here.