Since leaving CNN, former anchor Lou Dobbs has insisted that he’s always supported “humane immigration reform” and a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants “under certain conditions.” Last Friday, Dobbs provided more details regarding what a path to legalization should look like:
CALLER: We’re going to have to do something about the 12 million illegal immigrants. And rounding them all up and sending them back to countries that will not accept them is going to be way too expensive. What I’m suggesting is force these pepople who want to stay to register, they must then go through a lengthy process of working and paying into our Social Security and Medicare — with no benefit of it unless they become citizens over an extended period of time…
DOBBS: Right…Oh sure, I’ve said this for years…I think Dick, you’re making a lot of sense, and I hope a lot of Americans will be making sense right there with you…There are good faith individuals out there with good faith organizations who can come together and create real solutions instead of the nonsense that has dominated the propaganda campaign from all sides here over this issue.
Curiously, the solution Dobbs’ caller proposed is very similar to the path to legalization stipulated in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 — legislation which Dobbs repeatedly slammed and described as an “amnesty bill.” The bill declared English the national language and would’ve adjusted the status of undocumented immigrants without a criminal record who registered with the government, paid a fine and back taxes, had established five years of residency, and proved they had been employed for three years.
In fact, Dobbs didn’t just employ a “pejorative term favored by Republicans who opposed” immigration reform, he also promoted false claims about the bill. Dobbs reported that “illegal alien gang members are eligible for amnesty,” despite the fact an amendment to the bill specifically stated that any current or former gang members would be deported.
Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress