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Island LWV stands behind article

By Staff | Apr 2, 2019

To the editor:

The League of Women Voters of Sanibel offers a series of educational programs each year.

The intent is to bring information about issues of interest to the public in a non-partisan manner. In February, we featured a program entitled Immigration Issues in Southwest Florida. The speaker, a Fort Myers immigration attorney, offered a variety of interesting statistics that were both eye opening and


Following each of our programs, articles are written by a non-journalist and distributed to the local Sanibel publications. For the most part, they are published “as is” and the readers are usually appreciative. One such article was written following the aforementioned February program.

I received a phone call following the publication from a reader with a complaint representing herself as a Sanibel resident. Her complaint was related to the opening sentence of the article: “Did you know that illegal immigration into the United States is less than zero percent? (More illegal immigrants are leaving the U.S. than entering, and this has been true since 2007.)”

She posited to me that this was untrue: In essence, because she said she was from Texas, she knew that there are many caravans of immigrants coming to our borders and that there are indeed enormous numbers of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States. Also demanding to know where we got such plainly false information. (I have synthesized her remarks.)

In an effort to understand where her agitation was coming from, I reviewed the information supplied to us from the immigration attorney. Here, for context, is the related language regarding the number of immigrants as supplied to us:

“There isn’t a substantial inflow of undocumented immigrants into the U.S. at this time. In fact, illegal immigration isn’t just decreasing, it’s less than zero, and it’s been negative since 2007. Obviously some immigrants still come here illegally, but their numbers are not large enough to make up for those who leave every year. Much of the emphasis today on crossings is due to the fact that we are not prepared to deal with the large numbers of families coming, as opposed to the historical pattern of men who came alone.”

In this context, we stand behind our article and our efforts to educate the public on issues of importance.

Robyn Cook


League of Women Voters Sanibel