Fox News guest Michael Cutler argued immigration reform would hurt the economy and American workers because naturalized immigrants "will no longer be willing to be exploited."
On the July 15 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Stuart Varney hosted former Center for Immigration Studies fellow Michael Cutler to discuss immigration reform. Cutler argued against what he called "amnesty," saying that after naturalization and employment, immigrants "will no longer be willing to be exploited" and "legally cannot be discriminated against." Cutler went on to warn that, if immigration reform is passed, immigrants "will have the right to expect that they will be treated equally as Americans":
CUTLER: I had a front-row seat to the '86 amnesty. If you give lawful status to a bunch of illegal aliens who are being exploited, guess what, they will no longer be willing to be exploited. They will demand to be paid on the books, they will have the right to expect that they will be treated equally as Americans, but more importantly, they will have an equal standing in a labor pool that's already unable to find work. An alien who is naturalized or given employment authorization legally cannot be discriminated against, so they could get the same jobs that Americans desperately need to avoid losing their homes to foreclose.
Cutler has taken part in the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), which People for the American Way has described as "the latest incarnation of a shifting series of front groups for the anti-immigrant nativist group FAIR [Federation for American Immigration Reform] which has been trying for years to drive a wedge between African-Americans and Latinos." FAIR has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which noted:
FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements. Its advertisements have been rejected because of racist content. FAIR's founder, John Tanton, has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population: a goal to be achieved, presumably, by limiting the number of nonwhites who enter the country.
Participants in the BALA march have a history of inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric, including Cutler himself who used the Boston Marathon bombing investigation to attack a program that would provide asylum for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States before age 16.
Fox News amplified an anti-immigrant group's message that immigration reform will negatively impact African-Americans and repeated the debunked claim that the Senate immigration bill is a "job killer." In fact, the claim that immigrants steal jobs from African-Americans has been discredited as "a pernicious myth," and economists agree that the Senate bill is a net benefit for the economy.
During a segment highlighting the "DC March for Jobs," an anti-immigrant rally sponsored by the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), Fox News host Jon Scott stated that the group is "opposed to amnesty for some 11 million illegal immigrants and they say they are calling the Senate plans a job killer."
Scott proceeded to air comments Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) made at the rally in which he claimed that those who say the Senate immigration reform bill is good for the economy "are misrepresenting the truth." Brooks added: "It makes things worse economically. It makes things worse from an immigration standpoint."
Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron also parroted BALA's claims, including that "the immigration reform bill as passed in the Senate would take away jobs from low-income, particularly black Americans." The segment then segued to remarks from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who falsely claimed at the rally that if the Senate bill were to pass, "wages would ... go down, unemployment would go up," and economic output per capita "would be down for 25 years."
What Fox failed to mention, however, is that BALA "is just the latest incarnation of a shifting series of front groups for the anti-immigrant nativist group FAIR, which has been trying for years to drive a wedge between African Americans and Latinos." The group is rooted in the anti-immigrant, nativist tradition of the John Tanton network that includes designated hate groups with ties to white supremacist foundations.
Moreover, its claims about immigration reform have been thoroughly discredited by economic research.
Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox, broke from Fox News hosts and contributors by tweeting support for the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill.
In a July 14 tweet, Murdoch called on House Speaker John Boehner to allow for his chamber to vote on the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform package. Boehner has previously committed not to bring the package up for a vote in the House:
A number of host and contributors of 21st Century Fox's subsidiary Fox News have expressed a view opposite of Murdoch's, either denouncing the Senate plan or calling for House Republican obstruction of any comprehensive immigration reform effort.
On the July 10 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity praised Boehner for not allowing the Senate bill to be voted on in the House, saying, "the decision by the leadership not to take the Senate bill is a good first step" to fixing the immigration system. He also advised that they take their time to get it right.
During the Hannity segment, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin offered her "qualified applause and praise" of Boehner's commitment to not bring the Senate bill up for a vote.
Additionally, Fox News contributors Laura Ingraham and Bill Kristol have both endorsed Republican obstruction of immigration reform efforts, claiming that any reconciliation of a potential House immigration reform bill and the Senate bill would be disastrous.
Other Fox News figures have staked out a different position, articulating support for the Senate's immigration reform effort. During the July 10 edition of his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly explained that House Republicans killing the Senate immigration reform bill would "mean the chaotic status quo would remain and the Southern border would not be made more secure." And Fox News contributor Karl Rove said on Fox News Radio that while he doesn't think the Senate immigration reform bill is perfect, he wanted "the process to continue."
From the July 12 edition of Cumulus Media Networks' The Mark Levin Show:
Loading the player reg...
The Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), an anti-immigrant coalition that has ties to nativist hate groups, is hosting a rally in Washington, D.C., on July 15 with the purported mission to "preserve economic opportunity for American workers" by opposing immigration reform. Here is what the media should know about the group and its effort.
Appearing on Meet the Press, National Review editor Rich Lowry presented several falsehoods about the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, misinterpreting and misstating the contents of the Congressional Budget Office's assessment of the legislation.
On July 8, Lowry co-wrote an editorial with Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol calling on congressional Republicans to "kill the bill." On Meet the Press on July 14, Lowry called for the passage of "incremental" immigration legislation in the House instead of comprehensive reform.
Lowry claimed that "we're still going to have, depending on your estimates, 6, 7, 8 million more illegal immigrants here in 10years."
In fact, the CBO forecasts that by 2023 there will be 8.1 million less undocumented immigrants in the country.
Later, Lowry said that "according to the CBO, unemployment will be higher" between 2014 and 2020 if the bill passes and that wages "will be lower."
But the CBO report notes that slight reductions in average wages "for the much of the next two decades" caused by the bill's passage would mostly be felt by "the additional people who would become residents under the legislation" who will "earn lower wages," and is not likely to impact current U.S. residents.
The report also notes that the bill would have "no effect on the unemployment rate after 2020."
Lowry also said "the CBO says there's no deficit reduction in the first 10 years," which directly contradicts the report's contents. The CBO explains that "the legislation would decrease federal budget deficits by $197 billion over the 2014-2023 period and by roughly $700 billion over the 2024-2033 period."
Conservative media figures have repeatedly distorted the data surrounding immigration reform, while also demanding that Republican elected officials refuse to pass the pending legislation.
Fox News contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol ignored President Obama's history of improving border security when he suggested on Fox News Sunday that the president may choose not to enforce the border security provisions in the Senate's immigration reform bill.
The comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate on June 27 includes strong increases in border security measures. These measures include the placement of 17,000 additional Border Patrol agents, at least 700 miles in fencing along the border, and dozens of additional helicopters and marine vessels to help with border surveillance.
On July 14, Kristol claimed that Republicans can't trust Obama with the border enforcement provisions of the comprehensive immigration bill, asking, "[c]an anyone seriously believe he's not going to waive pieces of, piece of, aspects of a piece of legislation he doesn't like -- border security?"
Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane responded to Kristol on the show by noting the high level of deportations under Obama's presidency. The facts show that Lane is correct -- deportations are at record highs, with more than 400,000 people deported in FY 2012:
The facts also show that Obama has done much to tighten border security. The number of immigrants with criminal convictions has surged under the Obama administration, nearly doubling from 2008 to 2011. The number of Border Patrol agents has more than doubled since 2001. The number of apprehensions at the Southwestern border has dropped dramatically as these border security measures have increased.
In a New York Times column entreating House Republicans to "Pass the Bill!" David Brooks hit back at conservatives urging Republicans to obstruct all efforts against a comprehensive immigration bill. In the column, Brooks dismantled their arguments against reform, writing that not passing a comprehensive bill "could be a tragedy for the country and political suicide for Republicans, especially because the conservative arguments against the comprehensive approach are not compelling."
Whether this bill passes or not, this country is heading toward a multiethnic future. Republicans can either shape that future in a conservative direction or, as I've tried to argue, they can become the receding roar of a white America that is never coming back.
That's what's at stake.
Brooks' column is the latest salvo in an emerging civil war on the right over immigration reform. It has pitted the likes of Brooks, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, and Fox News contributor Karl Rove against Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and the anti-immigrant, extremist wing of the GOP.
Indeed, Brooks' column comes a few days after an op-ed by The Weekly Standard's Kristol and The National Review's Lowry, titled "Kill the Bill," which called for House Republicans to "[put] a stake through" comprehensive immigration reform:
House Republicans should make sure not to allow a conference with the Senate bill. House Republicans can't find any true common ground with that legislation. Passing any version of the Gang of Eight's bill would be worse public policy than passing nothing. House Republicans can do the country a service by putting a stake through its heart.
That op-ed has now been supplemented with an ad posted at National Review Online that calls on readers to sign a petition urging House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) "to reject a conference with the Senate on immigration legislation":
The petition ends:
[W]e, the undersigned, call upon you to kill the Senate's Gang of Eight immigration bill and make sure it doesn't come to the House Floor in any form.
Passing any version of the Gang of Eight's bill would be worse public policy than passing nothing. House Republicans can do the country a service by putting a stake through its heart." -Lowry and Kristol.
Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham hosted Leah Durant, executive director of anti-immigrant organization Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), on her radio show to promote an upcoming nativist rally against immigration reform. During the segment, Durant also repeated the myth that unemployment among African-Americans is spiking because of immigration reform.
In June, when Ingraham hosted Durant, she described her guest as a "progressive" voice on immigration reform. But Durant's group is far from progressive with ties to nativist organizations, including NumbersUSA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
On July 15, a number of anti-immigrant groups, including Durant's, will gather in Washington, D.C., for what they are calling the "DC March for Jobs," in an effort to hijack the immigration reform debate. The event is being sponsored by the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), a group that, as People For The American Way noted, "is just the latest incarnation of a shifting series of front groups for the anti-immigrant nativist group FAIR, which has been trying for years to drive a wedge between African Americans and Latinos."
From the July 10 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group's The Laura Ingraham Show:
Loading the player reg...
In a Fox News Latino op-ed, regular Fox News guest Michelle Fields slammed what she called Ann Coulter's focus on "offensive stereotypes" to argue against immigration reform. Fields wrote that Coulter's comments that Latinos are "the bottom of the barrel" and that "it's impossible to 'turn Mexico's underclass into Republicans'" are "insulting" and makes it "clear that she doesn't know very much about the Latino community or immigration."
Coulter, who regularly appears on Fox to decry immigration reform, has indeed said many of those things Fields accuses her of. But so has Fields.
Fields, who is now a correspondent for NextGeneration.TV -- whose director of programming is the virulently anti-immigrant former Rep. Allen West (a Fox News contributor) -- has her own history of making derogatory claims about immigrants.
In her op-ed, Fields criticized Coulter's claim that immigration reform "will turn America into a 'dumping ground for the world's welfare cases' because Latino immigrants are reliant on welfare," noting that a study by the Cato Institute found that immigrants don't use government benefits at higher rates than native-born citizens.
The persistent right-wing talking point that immigration reform would bring in anywhere from 11 million to as many as 30 million new Democratic voters has definitively been exposed as a myth.
The charge, pushed by Fox News, rests on the bogus allegation that because the Senate immigration reform bill includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, those new citizens would then be eligible to vote for Democrats.
As Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin wrote in a syndicated column arguing that "illegal alien amnesty violates our founding principles," "Unrepentant amnesty peddlers on both sides of the aisle admit their plan is all about votes and power." She continued:
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain continues his craven, futile chase for the Hispanic bloc. Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez is openly salivating at the prospect of millions of new illegal aliens -- future Democratic Party dependents of the Nanny State -- who could be eligible for Obamacare and a plethora of other government benefits despite clear prohibitions against them.
On Fox, contributor Monica Crowley echoed the argument, claiming that the Senate immigration reform bill "has nothing to do with immigration." She added: "The Democrats have played this brilliantly. This is about flooding the zone with new Democratic voters so they can get a permanent voting majority."
From the July 9 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Loading the player reg...
The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol and The National Review's Rich Lowry are calling on House Republicans to obstruct comprehensive immigration reform efforts by not passing any immigration reform bills out of the chamber.
In a July 8 op-ed titled "Kill the Bill" cross posted on The Weekly Standard and The National Review's websites, Kristol and Lowry argued that House Republicans should not pass any immigration reform legislation. Doing so would obstruct immigration reform efforts by preventing Senate and House representatives from meeting to reconcile the differences between the Senate's bill and any bill that may pass the House:
House Republicans may wish to pass incremental changes to the system to show that they have their own solutions, even though such legislation is very unlikely to be taken up by the Senate. Or they might not even bother, since Senate Democrats say such legislation would be dead on arrival. In any case, House Republicans should make sure not to allow a conference with the Senate bill. House Republicans can't find any true common ground with that legislation. Passing any version of the Gang of Eight's bill would be worse public policy than passing nothing. House Republicans can do the country a service by putting a stake through its heart.
Others in right-wing media have proposed a similar strategy of obstruction. On the June 25 edition of her radio show, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham and guest Kristol endorsed obstruction, arguing that the House and the Senate reconciling their immigration reform bills would result in a problematic law and should therefore be avoided. In addition, during the June 13 edition of Fox News' Hannity, guest Ann Coulter warned that "if the House passes anything concerning immigration" and conference with representatives from the Senate, the resultant bill "will come out an amnesty bill." She claimed that if a reconciled bill passed, "the country is over."
Right-wing media have long encouraged Republicans to engage in obstruction, including on the appointment of President Obama's second-term nominees and stricter gun violence prevention laws.
CBS' Face the Nation reinforced conservative arguments that the Senate immigration bill doesn't strenghten the border, but ignored the Congressional Budget Office report's finding that the Senate bill could cut illegal immigration in half as a result of the bill's border surge amendment.