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SF Chronicle Reporter Honored By Anti-Immigrant Group Blamed For Hate Crimes

By Andrea Nill Sanchez on June 20, 2009 at 10:00 am

"SF Chronicle Reporter Honored By Anti-Immigrant Group Blamed For Hate Crimes"

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sfchronSan Francisco’s alternative news source, Beyond Chron, pointed out yesterday that San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken was honored by the vehemently anti-immigrant group, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), when they awarded him with their “Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration” last week.

According to Beyond Chron, Van Derbeken won the same award that was bestowed upon Lou Dobbs for “attacking San Francisco’s two-decade-old Sanctuary Ordinance and perpetuated harmful stereotypes against immigrant children.” Beyond Chron claims that Van Derbeken is partly responsible for Mayor Gavin Newsom’s “hasty” decision to issue a new policy “that puts innocent children in danger and undermines the fundamental right to due process.”

During his Q&A that CIS conveniently edited out of their video of the event, Van Derbeken admitted that he has often been accused of discrimination and biased reporting:

Q: Have you been accused of being racist or –

MR. VAN DERBEKEN: Yes.

Q: – intolerant or anti-immigrant or –

MR. VAN DERBEKEN: Yes, yes, yes. (Laughter.) Hysterical, unfair, biased, awful, evil, anti-Christ, yeah. (Laughter.)

At another point, Van Derbeken was asked who the “voices of sanity” were on the subject of immigration. To which he replied:

MR. VAN DERBEKEN : Well, they’re viewed as lunatics. I mean, the people who are offended by this are thought of as being right-wing lunatics, in the context of this sort of closed loop of San Francisco politics.

It turns out Van Derbeken and CIS share something in common. This past week, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund released a new report that called out CIS, along with several other anti-immigration groups, for having “inflamed the immigration debate by invoking the dehumanizing, racist stereotypes and bigotry of hate groups.” The report tied their hateful rhetoric to an overwhelming rise in hate crimes directed at Latinos and individuals “perceived” as immigrants.

Update

The San Francisco Bay Guardian is also reporting that Van Derbeken accepted a cash prize (he refuses to say how much) from the Center for Immigration Studies. Van Derbeken and his editor reportedly see nothing wrong with accepting the award and money because they didn’t “seek it.”

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