MSNBC discusses anti-immigration rhetoric employed by talk show host Michael Savage and talk radio host Jay Severin. The article, by Brian Alexander, outlines historical examples in which disease outbreak has led to fear mongering and ostracization of "the other". The piece notes that a counter-effort has been mobilized by Latino rights groups and ends by noting the necessity of"fighting racism with information":
Blame-the-victim reactions can be fought with clear, accurate information about the disease and about how it is spreading, said Dr. Larry Kline, a San Diego physician and member of the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission. “People get snippets of information here and there, and unfortunately much of it is inaccurate. That makes things ripe for blame and blame and fear never helped anybody.”
Washington Independent published an article in the same spirit, and links the swine flu case to the uphill battle of comprehensive immigration reform. It highlights the Thursday, April 30 meeting on immigration immigration in the Senate Judiciary Committee:
The hearing was full of powerful arguments for why comprehensive immigration reform would boost the U.S. economy, enhance public safety and reinforce American values of hard work, family unity and entrepreneurship. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified to how legalizing undocumented immigrants would boost economic conditions for everyone, while Thomas Manger, Montgomery County, Md., Police Chief and Chairman of the legislative committee for the Major Cities Chiefs’ Association, testified that legalization would improve relationships between local communities and police officers and help law enforcement do its job.
Click here for a complete list of witnesses in the Senate hearing.