1 single concrete example trumps all theory

A while ago, I wrote a piece where I pointed out that the Boston Globe appears to have a policy that illegal aliens should, in nearly every circumstance, be referred to as “undocumented immigrants” or just simply “immigrants.” I was castigated by a few folks who went back and did a bit of statistical analysis of the Globe’s stories and said I was full of it.

Well, I knew that the Boston Globe would come through with me — they’ve almost never failed to live down to my expectations — and lo and behold, they published this little blurb today: (reprinted in its entirety)

Immigrant sentenced in bribery case

January 24, 2007

BOSTON

A federal judge sentenced an undocumented immigrant who operated an Allston cleaning company to five years in prison for harboring other undocumented immigrants and bribing an immigration official. US District Judge Morris E. Lasker also ordered Jose Neto, 40, to forfeit to the government a multifamily residence he owns in Allston. Neto, who employed 50 people at Spectro Cleaning Services, offered a customs agent $20,000 in September 2004 to get green cards for himself and his wife, then paid him another $147,000 for green cards for friends and to obtain the release of others from federal custody.

(Emphasis added)

I guess he was just bribing the government officials Americans can’t be bothered to bribe…

I have a few questions after reading the story:

1) The story implies that the government official accepted the bribe. Has the customs agent been charged? Tried? Sentenced?

2) After the completion of his sentence, will he be deported?

3) Since this was a blurb, not a full story, did it not occur to the writer that “illegal alien” has 12 letters, while “undocumented immigrant” has 21? In an article where space is at a premium, why use a phrase that is 75% longer than another that will serve as well, in addition to being more accurate?

In my earlier piece, I came to the conclusion that the Globe prefers “illegal alien” over “undocumented immigrant” or just plain “immigrant” only when it can make a Republican look bad. In this case, there isn’t a political angle to it, so “undocumented immigrant” won out.

Enjoy your time in prison, Mr. Neto, and please don’t hurry back after you’re released.

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