Immigration: Denver Channel Still Getting Flack

It started with a questionable broadcast and has evolved into a fight over rhetoric.

Coloradans For Immigrant Rights (CFIR), an advocacy group that was started by the American Friends Service Committee, is calling on community members to contact Denver’s Channel 7 News and encourage the station to stop using the term “illegal immigrant.”

Earlier in the month, the channel aired an “investigation” that was supposed to revolve around the undocumented and driver’s licenses. But as Colorado Media Matters found, the story had many factual problems:

A KMGH 7News “investigation” broadcast on the February 6 edition of 7News at 10 p.m. asserted without substantiation that “[i]llegal immigrants caught behind the wheel driving without a valid license … [or] insurance” are a widespread problem in Denver. In fact, the report presented only anecdotal evidence of four Hispanic men who pleaded guilty to driving without a valid driver’s license and without adequate auto insurance, and presented no factual evidence that any of those offenders actually were illegal immigrants.

The call for action comes after members of the immigrant community met with managers at the station to discuss the segment.

CFIR has recommended using the term “undocumented immigrant” or simply “immigrant” when producing news stories.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

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