Shortly after the mid-2014 heightened focus on the increased influx of illegal aliens arriving from Central America, many of whom were minors seeking to join a parent residing illegally in the United States the White House launched an initiative to welcome immigrants. By Presidential Memo, in November 2014 President Obama established a White House Task Force on New Americans.  It was described as, “…an interagency effort to identify and support State and local efforts at integration that are working and to consider how to expand and replicate successful models.”

The coincidence between these two events suggests an effort by the administration to deflect attention from the embarrassment of the surge in illegal immigration that, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report, was about 69,000 unaccompanied minors in fiscal year 2014 – up by 30,000 from the previous year. This surge suggested that it was related to the administration’s on-going pursuit of an amnesty for illegal aliens in the country. But the White House claimed the surge was due to deteriorating public safety conditions in Central America –  a claim rebutted by public officials in those countries. This is another clear example of the efforts of the White House to mislead public opinion.

Similarly, the White House has undertaken a consistent effort to convince the public that its proposed policy of amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens and increased levels of legal immigration would be beneficial to the country. As an example, the announcement of the creation of the task force claimed, “They make up 13 percent of the population, but are over 16 percent of the labor force and start 28 percent of all new businesses.” That implies that immigrants are more driven by a work ethic than are Americans. But, if you think about that claim and realize that the immigrant population has a much higher share of its population of working age than the population in general – there are many fewer foreign-born youth and retirees – the statistic becomes meaningless. Similarly, if the difficulty of many immigrants who do not speak English is kept in mind as a barrier to hired employment, it is unremarkable that there is a resort to self-employment – whether a corner bodega or a home cleaning enterprise. This also makes the White House claim less than convincing.

It seems especially clear that the immigration-related news coming out of the Obama White House is not balanced, objective information. It is, therefore, important for the public to maintain a very large grain of salt in receiving the steady stream of immigration-related news generated by it.