AZ Immigration Law Divides 'Law-and-Order' Defender of 'Hard-Edged Policies' vs. Compassionate Opponent 'More Willing to Give'

Stark bias from reporter Marc Lacey on a couple divided on Arizona's new immigration law: "Because he serves summonses for a living, owning his own business, Mr. Sotelo tends to be the law-and-order type. Because she has taught the children of illegal immigrants and sees how hard-edged policies affect real people, Mrs. Sotelo tends to be more willing to give."
Reporter Marc Lacey talked about Arizona's immigration law with a couple in Phoenix divided over the issue in Sunday's "One Family's Debate Shows Arizona Law Divides Latinos, Too," and one came off far more sympathetic than the other. Lacey portrayed Efrain Sotelo, the law's defender, as a right-wing cliche "law-and-order type," while Shayne Sotelo was sympathetically described as a "compassionate" person who sees how "hard-edged policies affect real people."

Arizona's immigration law, which politicians have debated in the Legislature, lawyers have sparred over in the courtroom and advocates have shouted about on the street, has found its way up a driveway in central Phoenix, through the front door and right onto the Sotelo family's kitchen table.

That is where Efrain Sotelo, 49, a process server, and his wife, Shayne, 46, an elementary school teacher, sat and argued on a recent Friday night. He drank beer. She sipped wine. Like many residents across the state, they differed on State Senate Bill 1070, as the immigration law is known.

....

Because he serves summonses for a living, owning his own business, Mr. Sotelo tends to be the law-and-order type. Because she has taught the children of illegal immigrants and sees how hard-edged policies affect real people, Mrs. Sotelo tends to be more willing to give.

"As a teacher, when the law passed, I had kids crying," she said. "They felt they had to uproot themselves from the life they had known all their lives. I saw total pain. I couldn't believe it was 2010. It was almost as if I were living through the civil rights era again."

Her husband shook his head.

Back and forth they went, with Mr. Sotelo endorsing a get-tough approach to illegal immigrants and his wife talking of the need for compassion.

This summer, Lacey was responsible for pretty lousy coverage of the ouster of dictatorial Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, omitting facts that would have made Zelaya look like the strongman he was.