The anti-immigrant group American for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) was crushed to hear Dobbs say that he supports a path to legalization for undocumented workers in an interview on Telemundo late last month after all the years he dedicated to railing on “amnesty.”
Monday, Dobbs brought ALIPAC president William Gheen on his radio show and bemusingly proclaimed that his Telemundo interview was not a flip-flop, but rather the re-articulation of the same views he has always expressed:
GHEEN: It’s been a pretty rocky weekend for us…We’ve got a website up supporting you if you run for Senate or President. And we have an organization that has a rule against endorsing or supporting any candidate who would support a change in the law to accommodate illegal aliens currently in the United States…you have been a champion for us.
DOBBS: And I remain so. And I remain a champion for rational, effective and humane immigration policies…
You do know that I have never called for the deportation of illegal immigrants in this country. And I still don’t and I’m going to stand up with whomever wants to discuss this issue…William, I hope you’ll join me at the table as we talk about this…William, how bout it?
GHEEN: I can respect you deciding to do that. Me — I don’t think it’s worth our time. I think these [advocacy] groups are enemies of the United States. I think these people are bordering on treason against the people of the United States of America. They support the invasion of this country. They support open border policies that put our people at risk of crime, disease, and terrorism.
Dobbs didn’t go as far as to challenge any of Gheen’s disturbing attacks against immigrants and advocates, but he did dedicate a significant amount of time to defending himself. Dobbs insists that he has always encouraged a rational discussion on the issue and has long supported a path to legalization and humane immigration reform as long the borders are secured and immigration controlled. Yet his stance is new to most people’s ears. Latinos aren’t buying it, xenophobes are furiously skeptical, and Dobbs would probably still have his job at CNN if that were the case.
In fact, in 2007 Dobbs proclaimed, “When this president [Bush] and open-borders, illegal-alien-amnesty advocates say, ‘You can’t deport them,’ my answer is, ‘You wanna bet?’ Because this is the United States.” Politifact found no evidence of Lou Dobbs ever saying “point blank” that he opposes a path to legalization, though he “certainly gave the impression that he didn’t much care for it.” He has also accused President Obama of “pandering to the pro-amnesty open-borders lobby,” despite the fact that Obama similarly indicated that there cannot be immigration reform with a path to legalization until the government shows that it is capable of enforcing the laws which are currently in place.
In his Telemundo interview Dobbs also tried to erase the past by claiming that he never said that immigrants are bringing leprosy to the U.S. and attacked host Maria Celeste for bringing up a report from five years ago. However, just two years ago Dobbs did in fact air and defend the leprosy report, affirming “If we reported it, it’s a fact.”
Gheen has announced that ALIPAC members are in favor of publicly dropping their support for the “new” Lou Dobbs and disabling websites they have created such as www.LouDobbsforPresident.org.
Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress