Hannity wrongly accused Sen. Clinton of "hypocrisy" on illegal immigrationMarch 28, 2006 12:09 PM EST ››› SIMON MALOY
On the March 24 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Fox News' Sean Hannity accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) of "hypocrisy" on illegal immigration. Referring to Clinton's March 22 statement that the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437) "would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself," Hannity said: "But this is the same lady that said, oh, I'm against illegal immigration. That's just such hypocrisy." However, Hannity's suggestion that, in criticizing the bill, Clinton was supporting illegal immigration or attacking immigration reform is false. In fact, Clinton was criticizing a specific proposal within the resolution that has been similarly criticized by religious leaders. She has also endorsed other immigration reforms.
From the March 24 broadcast of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
HANNITY: And now we got Hillary lecturing us about the Bible on this, which, by the way, made absolutely -- Biblically speaking -- no sense whatsoever, and clearly she doesn't know what she's talking about. But this is the same lady that said, "Oh, I'm against illegal immigration." That's just such hypocrisy.
During a March 22 press conference, Clinton said of H.R. 4437: "It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scripture, because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself." Clinton was referring to a section of the bill that threatens up to five years imprisonment for anyone who "assists, encourages, directs, or induces a person to reside in or remain in the United States, or to attempt to reside in or remain in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien who lacks lawful authority to reside in or remain in the United States." As Media Matters for America noted, on March 23, Hannity also falsely attacked Clinton for her comments on H.R. 4437 the day after the Associated Press had reported that Clinton -- rather than endorsing illegal immigration, as Hannity implied -- called for a number of immigration reforms during the same March 22 press conference in which she made her "Good Samaritan" remarks:
Among other things, Clinton said she would support legislation that would strengthen U.S. borders, boost technology to secure the borders, and seek greater cross-border cooperation with Mexico and other neighboring countries.
She also called for new enforcement laws, including penalties for employers who exploit illegal immigrants, as well as a system to allow the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States to earn their citizenship.
Religious groups and figures have offered similar criticisms of H.R. 4437 -- such as Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, who wrote in a March 22 New York Times op-ed: "As written, the proposed law is so broad that it would criminalize even minor acts of mercy like offering a meal or administering first aid."