February 8th, 2018
The Albuquerque Journal’s recent publication of a cartoon that depicts Dreamers as armed robbers and terrorists is reckless and harmful to the immigrant community and the entire city of Albuquerque.
The depiction exacerbates an unfounded fear of Dreamers and immigrants and is blatantly inaccurate. Data shows that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.
Nationally, in 2015, the native-born incarceration rate was 14% higher than the Dreamer incarceration rate of .02%.
Contrary to the Journal’s assertion, this depiction does not inspire valid political debate, but rather perpetuates fear and misunderstanding.
Political debate is one thing. This portrayal of bigotry does not encourage debate, rather, it encourages division.
The effect of reckless actions like this is not academic. This week the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce is hosting investors from Mexico looking to make additional investments in the United States. These investors recently invested more than $100 million in San Antonio and are actively considering Albuquerque for additional investments. The timing of this editorial cartoon reflects poorly on our city’s welcoming culture.
As a business organization we have a responsibility to help move Albuquerque forward. We hope the Albuquerque Journal realizes how it can help or hinder the perception of our city. This does not help.