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.
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.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews suggested that only "irregular Republicans" support patrols of the U.S.-Mexico border by the Minuteman Project, a group determined to stop what it calls "[t]he human flood breaching our Homeland Defense." But public-opinion polls suggest significant Republican support for the Minutemen and their activities.
Following President Bush's announcement of his proposal to deploy as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended the administration's plan to bolster border protection in numerous media appearances and interviews. But in their coverage, media generally failed to mention that in December 2005, Chertoff characterized the deployment of the National Guard for border protection as "a horribly overexpensive and very difficult way to manage this problem."
Bill O'Reilly claimed that Mexican President Vicente Fox has "got his troops on the northern border helping the drug traffickers bring the loads across." Although Mexican officials announced that drug smugglers were using military uniforms and vehicles when they crossed the border into the United States on January 23, the FBI found no evidence that the men were connected to the Mexican military. Later in the program, O'Reilly claimed that Jalisco is "on the border." In fact, Jalisco is a state in central Mexico, and it is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the Senate immigration bill "does not address border security in any meaningful way" because it would "add 2,500 border patrol [agents] a year and that's it." In fact, in addition to doubling the number of border patrol agents over the next five years, the bill would also increase interior enforcement and electronic surveillance and provide for construction of additional barriers and fences along the border.
During a discussion on illegal immigration on his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O'Reilly cited North Korea as a successful example of border security. Responding to O'Reilly's observation that "[n]obody gets into North Korea," his guest, the Cato Institute's Daniel T. Griswold, retorted: "Nobody wants to."
Responding to a critical Wall Street Journal editorial, CNN's Lou Dobbs announced his support for the Minuteman Project, in which volunteers monitor the U.S.-Mexico border for illegal immigrants.