Illegal Immigrant Supporters Battling Conservatives' "Harsh Legislation"

Rachel Swarns and Randal Archibold check in on the parlous state of pro-illegal immigrant movement on Monday in "Immigration Movement Struggles to Regain Momentum Built in Spring Marches."

"The movement, some organizers say, may have blunted some of the harsher legislation that had been under consideration in Congress. But it faces an uphill effort, and the shifting political landscape will play a major role in its long-term vitality.

"Armando Navarro, a professor who helped organize the Los Angeles demonstrations in the spring, said he believed the protest movement had sputtered once it was clear that the harshest legislation would not pass."

Hold on: Isn't characterizing the "harshness" of legislation a matter of opinion inappropriate for a news story?

There's also more of the paper's labeling imbalance: While immigrant activist groups like the National Council of La Raza aren't labeled as left-wing or liberal, the Times finds plenty of "conservatives" on the other side.

"But the political outlook has changed enormously since then. President Bush, who championed legislation that would put illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship, has found his stature weakened. And conservatives in Congress, who once seemed on the defensive, have rallied.

"Representative Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who favors legalization of illegal immigrants, said the protests were ultimately counterproductive because they galvanized conservatives who criticize legalization as amnesty for lawbreakers."