Dobbs Can’t Help Himself from Breaking Promise to Forbid Use of ‘Illegal Alien’ on Air

Lou-DobbsBack in June, Lou Dobbs vowed to “absolutely forbid the use of the expression on my [Dobbs] broadcast and in my writing, of ‘illegal alien’” while praising Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for referring to foreigners who are not legally present in the US as “illegal immigrants” and not “undocumented immigrants.” Just a couple weeks ago, Dobbs also claimed to have never antagonized the immigrant community:

DOBBS: What do you mean crotchety old white guys can foam at the mouth about immigrants and blacks? First of all, you’ve never heard me foam at the mouth or in any way complain about immigrants. Don’t play your little left-wing games here because I have never said anything against any legal immigrant ever.

Old habits die hard. Less than a couple months later, Dobbs couldn’t help himself from using “illegal alien” while decrying the “Latinization” of the country:

DOBBS: An editor of the New York Times actually said to me point blank ‘we are absolutely driving Latinization of America. We think it’s important for the country.’ I’ve heard by the way, that’s from the left, from the right I’ve heard the same nonsense from the Chamber of Commerce. I mean, it’s crazy. We’ve gotta have illegal aliens in this country, according to one of their officers, so that we can pay Social Security. The nonsense you hear from the so-called “establishment” — whether the left or the right — is absurd.

Anyone who has ever listened to Dobbs has likely heard him repeatedly “foam at the mouth” about “illegal aliens” and legal immigrants alike. Aside from having warned that “the invasion of illegal aliens” was bringing leprosy to the US, Dobbs has also promoted the “Aztlan,” or “reconquista” conspiracy theory that Mexican-American U.S. citizens who have lived in this country for generations secretly plan to reconquer the southwest.


All of his “foaming at the mouth” led The New York Times to report that “Mr. Dobbs has a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.” It turns out Dobbs has a rather flexible perception of himself and his inflammatory rhetoric as well.

Andrea Christina Nill

Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress


  1. Paul says

    “Illegal alien” is technically correct and perfectly acceptable language. You’ll find it used dozens of places throughout the U.S. Code.

    “Undocumented immigrant,” on the other hand, is weasel-wordery. The important fact is that they’re here illegally, not that they don’t have particular paperwork in their pockets. (Although many have have bounteous **fraudulent** paperwork on them!) And they’re not “immigrants” because that word means someone here with our permission, not someone who crashed our borders or overstayed a short-term visa.

    Even worse is “undocumented worker,” as many of them, besides being illegal and maybe having lots of fraudulent documents, aren’t workers at all. This non-worker-and-illegal category includes young kids, elderly, and pregnant women who sneak across the border immediately before giving birth, in order to create an instant U.S. citizen.

    Dobbs actually focuses on illegal aliens and doesn’t even understand that LEGAL immigration is the bigger, underlying problem. It’s effectively out of control. That is to say, our immigration policy is largely set by the immigrants themselves because the largest part of the legal influx results from “family reunification,” which yields chain migration. The effect is that a single “original” immigrant granted a green card because of employable skills leads to, on average, more than 40 additional legal immigrants brought in “on his [or her] coattails,” just because of the chain of family connections.

    Dobbs refuses to think about our LEGAL immigration disaster.

    • MyLeftMind says

      I agree with both the comment above and the article. Dobbs and his ilk may be jerks, but until we on the left take a hard look at the crisis of illegal immigration, we’ll continue to pay for the problems it causes.

      The assumption that the 14th Amendment gives automatic citizenship to babies of illegal aliens has never been tested by the SCOTUS. The fact is, that amendment comes on the heels of the 13th Amendment because it fixed the problem of children of freed slaves not having U.S. citizenship. The 14th Amendment was never designed to provide incentive for non-citizens to break the law in order to have babies on U.S. soil. The term “anchor baby” describes the unintended consequence of the misuse of the 14th Amendment whereby these “instant citizens” are able to access full medical benefits before they’re even born, and welfare, housing and medical benefits in spite of the fact that their parents may never have paid into the government systems that are forced to support them. After utilizing public support their entire lives, when they turn 18 they can then sponsor their parents and other relatives to jump ahead in line before potential immigrants who have waited years to come to this country, and who have skills and a work ethic that could help this country rather than drain its coffers.

      Today’s push for the so called “immigration reform” is a misnomer for providing amnesty to those who broke the rules to enter this country, and is specifically pushing for increasing the number of Mexican immigrants allowed into the U.S., even at the expense of citizens from other countries immigrating. I understand liberal desire to help those in need and I know it’s not considered Politically Correct to state what I’m saying here, but I do so because I believe federal policies should not encourage people to break the law. More importantly, we should always support legal immigrants over illegal aliens. And if we want to help people, why not help the poor children of Mexican citizens who don’t break the law by sneaking across the U.S. border? What makes those children less important to us than the kids of illegal aliens?

      Progressives should think carefully about why we’re so knee-jerk willing to help illegal aliens at the expense of 1) immigrants who followed the law to live here, 2) potential immigrants who are currently waiting their turn to live in this country, and 3) citizens of countries like Mexico who are just as much in need of our help as those who break the law to have babies on American soil. I submit that the harm done to our country in allowing and even encouraging illegal immigration does a disservice to all three of the above groups of law abiding people, as well as the taxpayers who have to support anchor babies to the detriment of our own neighbors who desperately need our assistance.

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