A Wall Street Journal article asserted that "[w]hile Sen. [John] McCain has shifted his emphasis, talking more now about 'securing the border first,' he remains committed to the broad strokes of his original approach [on immigration reform]." And the Washington Post editorial board wrote that McCain has made "what amounts to only a mild shift in emphasis in his longstanding position." However, McCain's current position -- that the borders must be secured before other reforms can be addressed -- is a reversal of his prior position; McCain previously argued that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective. Moreover, he now says that he would not support his own legislation if it came up for a vote in the Senate.
NBC's David Gregory stated: "John McCain is not going to pander to the right. He did that once and it didn't work." The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson and MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan both agreed, asserting: "He's not going to do it." In fact, McCain has attempted to satisfy conservative Republicans by reversing his positions on issues such as taxes, immigration, and the religious right.
A USA Today article stated that Sen. John McCain "has been criticized for supporting a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but he has said he would focus on sealing the borders before taking up any other measures," falsely suggesting that McCain's current proposal to secure the borders first is consistent with his prior support for comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, McCain previously argued that border security could not be disaggregated from other provisions in legislation on comprehensive immigration reform, or else it would be ineffective.
On Imus in the Morning, Richard "Bo" Dietl said he was "pissed off" because the FBI is expending too many resources prosecuting mob criminals while ignoring the northern border of the United States: "Now, what bothers me is our borders up near Canada are opened up. It looks like the pilgrimage in to Mecca, the amount of 'Aba Dabba Doos' that are coming in from Canada in to the United States. ... We should take some of our great FBI agents and station them up there so they can make some oberservationtations [sic] about these guys, Al Swawahiwi [sic] and all his brothers and cousins coming through there."
A New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference asserted that on the issue of immigration, McCain "has not changed his basic position." Similarly, National Public Radio's Mara Liasson stated, "McCain hasn't changed his position on providing illegal aliens with a pathway to citizenship, but he now has a new approach: secure the border first." In fact, McCain's current support for securing the border first represents a reversal of his prior position.
Previewing the January 5 presidential debates, MSNBC's Chris Matthews discussed what he said would be "a good question" to ask candidates, such as one that would force the candidates to "choose between Latino voters who want more of an open border and the other voters ... who definitely don't want that kind of an open border." Yet, while Matthews did not offer any examples of "Latino voters who want more of an open border," in fact, a number of national and regional Latino groups have specifically rejected the idea of "open borders" while advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, as have members of Congress representing states and districts with large Latino constituencies.
In discussing recent riots in Paris suburbs with guest Steve Emerson, Glenn Beck likened the rioting there to the purported situation in the American Southwest, where "[y]ou've got people coming here that have no intention of being Americans. They say, you know, 'Hey, this is our land. We deserve it back.'" Beck's question invoked the "reconquista" concept initially spread by a "vitriolic Mexican-basher" and perpetuated by some conservatives, including Michelle Malkin and Pat Buchanan.
Discussing President Bush's denial that the federal government has plans for a "North American Union," CNN's Suzanne Malveaux said Bush's denial followed "a lot of talk in the blogosphere and conspiracy theorists." But Malveaux did not note that CNN's own Lou Dobbs, on whose show Malveaux regularly provides news reports, has repeatedly hyped the possibility of a North American Union.
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.