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Lies About the Undocumented Poison Economic Stimulus Debate

El Diario/La Prensa, Editorial, Staff Posted: Feb 08, 2009

NEW YORK -- There may be some perfectly good reasons to criticize President Obamas economic stimulus package, but an unfounded statement about the undocumented is not one of them, write editors of New York's El Diario/La Prensa. It all began with an Associated Press article in which a top Republican congressional official said that the package could steer government checks to illegal immigrants. The article was corrected, explaining that, as with the stimulus package passed last year, the money is only for those who have valid Social Security numbers. But The Drudge Report failed to take this correction into account, sticking with a sensationalist headline, although it did correct the text of its report; CNNs Lou Dobbs took it further, claiming that the House package would allow people who dont have Social Security numbers to be eligible.

That the immigration debate lends itself to deliberate and malicious lies is nothing new, editors write. What is outrageous is that in this case, resentment against the undocumented is being used to torpedo other projects, and even worse, that there are unethical and irresponsible media outlets spreading these lies. But despite the tired old premise, lies are not truths no matter how often they are repeated.

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