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Albuquerque Journal Apologizes for MS-13 'Dreamers' Cartoon

Albuquerque Journal Apologizes for MS-13 'Dreamers' Cartoon

New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

By    |   Friday, 09 February 2018 02:14 PM

The Albuquerque Journal editor apologized for an MS-13 "Dreamers" cartoon, which characterized members of the dangerous gang as "future Democrats" and illegal immigrants brought into the United States as children by their parents, Politico reported.

The newspaper's editor said the cartoon she believed poked "at President Trump's rhetoric," but instead "inflamed emotions" about the debate over those connected with the Obama Administration-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, Politico said. DACA participants are often referred to as "Dreamers."

The cartoon depicted a couple being mugged by three people, one with the words "MS-13" on his clothing. The voice balloon from one of the victims says: "Now, Honey … I believe they prefer to be called 'Dreamers' ... or future Democrats."

MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, has recruited at-risk youth within Latino communities since the 1980s in Los Angeles where thousands of Salvadoran immigrants landed after fleeing their country which was in the middle of a civil war, wrote PBS. Trump has blamed Obama immigration policies for the rise of MS-13, the broadcaster said.

"… On one level it appeared to us to be poking at President Trump's rhetoric by portraying a quaking Republican couple who were painting Dreamers with a broad, totally false, brush," Albuquerque​ Journal editor Karen Moses wrote Thursday. "Obviously, that was not the message received by many readers.

"Instead, many saw an extremely objectionable cartoon and thought that was the position of the Journal. It is not. In hindsight, instead of generating debate, this cartoon only inflamed emotions. This was not the intent, and for that, the Journal apologizes," Moses continued.

Syndicated cartoonist Sean Delonas, who drew the controversial cartoon, told the Journal on Thursday he meant to point out his view that unchecked illegal immigration has a negative impact on public safety and wages.

"I'm not saying they can't come in; they have to come in legally, and they have to be vetted," Delonas said to the Journal. "I think you can call them Dreamers, but I kind of agree with Trump that Americans have Dreams, too."

The cartoon was denounced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from New Mexico, the Journal said.

"I'm offended as a Republican, and I'm offended as a conservative, that they would try to depict Democrats as thugs and terrorists," New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez told the newspaper.

A group of lawmakers that included Democratic representatives Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan, Democratic Sen. Tom Udall and Republican Rep. Steve Pearce issued a joint statement on Twitter.

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A political cartoon that portrayed members of the MS-13 gang as "Dreamers … or future Democrats," drew protests and an apology from the editor of the Albuquerque Journal.
albuquerque journal, apologizes, dreamers, cartoon
Friday, 09 February 2018 02:14 PM
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