Julia Preston of the New York Times, arguably one of the nation’s top immigration reporters, told a roundtable gathered in Washington this past weekend that immigration reform is a “very substantial civil rights movement.” Championing the amnesty cause is nothing new for the media, but Preston’s comments suggesting that illegal aliens share the same civil rights struggle as African-Americans takes advocacy journalism to a new and offensive level.

Linking illegal aliens to Black America’s struggle for justice satisfies the media’s unending appetite for victim-hood stories but the parallels to the past are flawed. For the better part of our history, African Americans didn’t violate the law; rather the law violated them and their Constitutional rights as Americans. Yet now, illegal aliens freely violate the law and then demand to have the laws changed to accommodate their unlawful behavior. That’s a big difference and making the “civil rights” case for illegal aliens is, in effect, identity theft of the civil rights legacies of American black U.S. citizens.

We won’t hold our breath waiting for Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton to cry “foul” but the voices of black Americans is growing louder. Why? Because they’re the ones disproportionally affected with job displacement, high unemployment, wage stagnation and reduced social services brought on by illegal immigration.

Julia Preston should be reminded that before she and her paper champion civil rights for the new cause célèbre that she gives due diligence to those whom illegal immigration harms.