CNN's Lisa Sylvester again uncritically reported Republican claims that "people living in the United States illegally might be able to access" health insurance benefits under new legislation extending SCHIP. Lou Dobbs also stated that "opponents say it will make it easier for illegal aliens to receive taxpayer-funded health insurance." But neither Sylvester nor Dobbs noted that the legislation includes a citizenship verification process in which states would use SCHIP applicants' names and Social Security numbers to verify that they are eligible.
The Washington Times falsely claimed that the House-passed economic recovery bill "allows payment of checks to undocumented immigrants," and repeated the falsehood that "much" of the $4.19 billion allocated for a Neighborhood Stabilization Program in the bill "might go to ACORN." In fact, under the bill, undocumented immigrants without Social Security numbers are not eligible for tax credits, and the bill does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding.
Savage Nation guest host Rick Roberts claimed of immigrants: "[P]eople are collecting SSI [Supplemental Security Income] checks that have never paid into it." However, according to the Social Security Administration website, only people legally present in the United States can receive SSI, and most legal immigrants must earn $42,000 before becoming eligible.
CNN's Anderson Cooper and Gloria Borger, and Fox News' Megyn Kelly claimed that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "waffled" during the Democratic presidential debate on the issue of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. In fact, Obama stated: "Look, I have already said, I support the notion that we have to deal with public safety and that driver's licenses at the state level can make that happen." When debate moderator Wolf Blitzer asked him to respond "yes or no" to the question, "Do you support driver's licenses for illegal immigrants?" Obama answered, "Yes."
Discussing Sen. Hillary Clinton's performance during the Democratic presidential debate, Chris Matthews claimed that Clinton made herself "look like a switcher" when responding to questions about her views on Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. In fact, Clinton maintained that Spitzer's plan "ma[de] sense," explaining that "what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform" and claiming: "I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well-intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform." Matthews and other media figures invoked Sen. John Kerry's alleged "flip-flopping," suggesting that Clinton made inconsistent statements.
On his radio show, Glenn Beck accused "liberals" of wanting to "rape" illegal immigrants by "hav[ing] them pay into Social Security" without "allow[ing] them to get any of those funds back." In fact, when the Senate considered an amendment that would have prevented newly legalized immigrants from receiving credit for Social Security benefits for work done as illegal immigrants, Democrats overwhelmingly opposed the amendment, while Republicans strongly supported it.
On Fox News' Special Report, correspondent Major Garrett falsely claimed that Democratic congressional candidate Francine Busby "endorses providing" Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants. Garrett appeared to be distorting Busby's support for a recently passed Senate immigration bill in the same way Busby's Republican opponent, Brian Bilbray, did. In fact, the Senate's legislation would do nothing to change the current prohibition on illegal immigrants receiving Social Security benefits.