In his third appearance on an NBC-owned channel in two days to promote his new book, Pat Buchanan asserted that "the Mexican government is interested in basically the reconquista of the American Southwest." Meanwhile, on The O'Reilly Factor, Michelle Malkin claimed the idea of reconquista is "mainstream" among immigrants.
On NBC's Today, David Gregory provided Pat Buchanan a forum to discuss Buchanan's newly released book, which includes a claim that the United States must keep "Americans of European descent" from becoming the "minority" in order to "survive."
Fox News reporter Megyn Kendall uncritically reported Rep. Charles Norwood's (R-GA) false claim that under the Senate immigration bill, "[a]ll you got to do is come across the border [and] you can become a citizen." In fact, the bill would grant a path to citizenship only to illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States for more than five years and who hold jobs, pass criminal background checks, learn English, and pay fines and back taxes.
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly wondered whether children of legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico who are attending school in the United States "have any kind of traditional value system at all, vis-à-vis what America used to be," or whether they are "taking their Mexican values, because most of them are Mexicans, and, you know, basically setting up Acapulco North."
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN correspondent Casey Wian failed to challenge House Speaker Dennis Hastert's false claim that "the Senate [immigration reform] bill doesn't talk about the border at all." In fact, the Senate bill includes a number of border-security provisions.
Lou Dobbs claimed that "[i]f the Heritage Foundation [hadn't gotten] involved," a recent immigration bill passed by the Senate "would have approved 100 million immigrants into this country." But independent analysts have questioned the methodology and results of a Heritage study to which Dobbs was referring; the study claimed that the Senate bill would allow more than 100 million people to legally immigrate to the U.S. over the next 20 years.
On MSNBC's Tucker, former New York Police Department detective Bo Dietl falsely claimed that "all the hijackers that came and then bombed [the United States] on 9-11, all of them were in this country illegally." In fact, all 19 of the 9-11 hijackers reportedly entered the United States legally, though two had overstayed their visas.
On MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson said to guest Jesse Diaz, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, "you may be counting Hispanic immigrants from Puerto Rico," after Diaz said that "only 55 percent of illegals are of Mexican descent." However, all native Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN correspondent Dana Bash uncritically reported that sources within Sen. Rick Santorum's re-election campaign said the campaign's internal polling showed that 85 percent of Americans opposed "what they label as amnesty." But Bash did not actually quote the purported poll or elaborate on how Santorum's campaign defines "amnesty."
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews praised a campaign advertisement by Vernon Robinson, a Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina, as "tough" and "strong," despite the ad's attacks on "homosexuals" and "the lesbians and feminists" and its reference to "aliens" who "didn't come in a spaceship," but rather "came across our unguarded Mexican border by the millions."
Norah O'Donnell baselessly asserted that prior to President Bush's recently expressed openness to the House immigration bill, Bush "has been straight on this issue. ... He has been consistent on this issue, which is we have to be compassionate -- this is the part of [being a] 'compassionate conservative' -- to those illegal immigrants in this country." In fact, House Judiciary Committee chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. had accused Bush of "turn[ing] his back" on House Republican efforts on immigration after initially advocating some of the House bill's harshest provisions.
The New York Times reported that President Bush recently "signal[ed] a new willingness to negotiate with House Republicans" on tackling immigration, adding that "[t]he shift is significant because Mr. Bush has repeatedly said he favors legislation like the Senate's immigration bill." But the Times made no mention of the fact that the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee accused the White House of abandoning its original support of some of the harshest provisions in the House bill on immigration, including a provision that would make undocumented presence in the country a crime.
Washington Post columnist David Broder asserted that President Bush finds the "resistance in the House to a permissive immigration bill" to be an "alien sentiment," for the "simple reason" that Bush is a Texan. But Broder ignored the fact that Bush's White House reportedly pushed for some of the harshest provisions in the immigration bill the House passed in December, including a provision that would make illegal presence in the country a felony.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed that "most Americans have no tolerance for what they call amnesty" in the Senate immigration bill, and Fox News political contributor Newt Gingrich called the bill "absurd" because "it will be very unpopular." But recent polling almost universally shows that Americans support a path to citizenship -- provided for in the Senate bill -- for some illegal immigrants currently in the United States.
In their coverage of the postponement of congressional negotiations on immigration reform, several major print media outlets failed to note that legislation passed by House Republicans would designate as felons the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States.