In the wake of the LA Times Pulitzer Prize win for “Public Service,” OC Weekly reporter Gustavo Arellano revisits the recently revealed fact that one of the two lead reporters for the Bell city salary scandal series, Ruben Vives (pictured), was brought into the U.S. illegally as a boy. Vives became legal with the help of a reporter, just shy of his 18th birthday.
Arellano stresses that Vives is first and foremost a reporter rather than a “Latino reporter” or “former illegal immigrant journalist.” Still, he admits this part of the story packs undeniable punch for a large segment of the Times‘ readership:
I, along with the millions of Latinos who come from an undocumented pedigree… can’t help but gloat about Vives’ background. What a wonderful chinga tu madre at the Know Nothings of the world who insist illegals can’t make anything of themselves in this country!
What a glorious toma, güey to those who say Latinos bring the corruption of their homelands to the United States and endorse it! What a beautiful arriba to those of us who know undocumented youngsters can make something of themselves in this country–if only they have a chance!
Arellano seemed to know what was coming in the reader comments, warning “pendejos” that this is the new normal. Sure enough, one of the first comments from “American” is an all-caps reminder of the old normal: DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS.