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LI WINS: Open Letter to Suffolk Cty Exec Steve Levy

***Open Letter to Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy***

May 22, 2008

To County Executive Levy:

Yesterday, Media Matters Action Network, released a report entitled “Fear & Loathing in Prime Time – Immigration Myths and Cable News.” The report was done to document the rhetoric surrounding immigration on cable news and examines both common myths and urban legends about the topic using a trio of commentators: Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.

The entire report can be read at:

http://mediamattersaction.org/static/pdfs/fear-and-loathing.pdf

Lou Dobbs lead the pack in many of the topics covered in the report. For example:

On Lou Dobbs Tonight, viewers were told about a mythical explosion of leprosy cases due to illegal immigration and a mythical epidemic of voter fraud due to illegal immigration.

Numerous studies have found that immigrants in general commit fewer crimes than native-born citizens. During 2007, the alleged connection between illegal immigration and crime was discussed on 94 episodes of Lou Dobbs Tonight.

Undocumented immigrants are barred from receiving most federally provided social services and pay a variety of taxes, including sales, property (in the form of rent), and payroll taxes. Yet during 2007, the allegation that undocumented immigrants drain social services and/or don’t pay taxes was discussed on 71 episodes of Lou Dobbs Tonight.

This report is especially alarming to us, because you have appeared on Lou Dobbs’ show on this very topic representing Suffolk County.

We ask that you refrain from making appearances on shows that promote anti-immigrant hysteria and aren’t interested in finding practical immigration solutions for our community. A real leader tells the truth instead of perpetuating falsehoods and myths.

Regards,

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