Be sure to check the leanings of sources

Published 8:12 am Monday, July 21, 2008

While I support Carolyn Westrum in encouraging people to educate themselves on the issue of immigration, I would encourage everyone to be intelligent information consumers. Many Web sites discussing political issues, including those mentioned in Ms. Westrum’s letter, present themselves as nonpartisan, nonprofit research organizations or think tanks doing unbiased policy research. Readers should know that most have a particular agenda to advance, whether liberal or conservative.

It is important to look at any “About us” links to see who is involved. A quick Google search on the organization name will point to other Web sites that profile and monitor organizations advocating particular policy agendas.

Readers should also be aware that real numbers are simply not available regarding illegal immigration and other black market activities. Any figures given are estimates at best. What are presented as “reliable facts” are often subject to interpretation. Readers should also beware of direct causal relationships being drawn where other factors are actually involved.

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True education on any issue involves looking at arguments from both sides of the issue and deciding for oneself where one stands.

Cathy Porter

Albert Lea