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.
The Des Moines Register's endorsement of Sen. John McCain praised him for "taking stands based on principle, not party dogma," citing his positions on immigration reform and President Bush's tax cuts, among others. However, as noted in several reports, McCain has shifted his position on immigration reform and actually reversed his position on the tax cuts.
On Countdown, Keith Olbermann asked Dana Milbank about the repeated references in The Washington Post to the cost of John Edwards' haircuts, including in his own column. Milbank replied that he is "guilty of the haircut slander" and added: "[T]he $400 dollar haircut speaks of that the same way Romney having the illegal immigrants twice return to work in his home even ... as he's complaining about illegal immigrants." While Milbank identified an inconsistency between Romney's actions and his stated views, he offered no justification for suggesting a similar inconsistency in Edwards' efforts to fight poverty while paying for expensive haircuts.
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.
Promoting his new book on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News show, Pat Buchanan claimed that Americans are "addicted to this myth" of the United States as a "melting pot," adding: "[T]here's no doubt that the American melting pot worked wonders with the folks that came from Europe from 1890 to 1920. But we had a 40-year time-out, and we had clashes in that period and it finally worked." Buchanan then claimed that "we're going to end up with what [former President] Teddy Roosevelt warned against: a tangle of squabbling nationalities." But while Buchanan has previously asserted that the United States must keep "Americans of European descent" from becoming a "minority," the targets of Roosevelt's ire in a 1915 speech were European immigrants.
On The Big Story, a full-screen graphic appeared showing a picture of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the phrases "THE WAR ON ENGLISH!" "Just 'Say No' to America's Language" and "Why?" Throughout most of the segment, a graphic appeared in the lower right corner of the screen showing an image of Pelosi's face alternating with the phrase "SPEAK SPANISH."
CNN's Anderson Cooper and Gloria Borger, and Fox News' Megyn Kelly claimed that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "waffled" during the Democratic presidential debate on the issue of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. In fact, Obama stated: "Look, I have already said, I support the notion that we have to deal with public safety and that driver's licenses at the state level can make that happen." When debate moderator Wolf Blitzer asked him to respond "yes or no" to the question, "Do you support driver's licenses for illegal immigrants?" Obama answered, "Yes."
Discussing Sen. Hillary Clinton's performance during the Democratic presidential debate, Chris Matthews claimed that Clinton made herself "look like a switcher" when responding to questions about her views on Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. In fact, Clinton maintained that Spitzer's plan "ma[de] sense," explaining that "what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform" and claiming: "I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well-intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform." Matthews and other media figures invoked Sen. John Kerry's alleged "flip-flopping," suggesting that Clinton made inconsistent statements.
During a report on the DREAM Act, a measure proposed by Sen. Dick Durbin that would have provided permanent resident status to a select group of undocumented immigrants, CNN's Lisa Sylvester reported that the bill's sponsors "held a news conference in the Capitol with illegal alien college students who'd benefit from the program," and that "[o]pponents demanded federal immigration officials detain the illegal aliens." However, several media outlets have reported that the three students featured at the press conference all have temporary legal status.
In a report on a federal court ruling temporarily blocking new immigration enforcement rules by the Department of Homeland Security, CNN's Jack Cafferty reported that "[t]he lawsuit challenging the government was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the AFL-CIO, and several San Francisco labor groups." However, while the lawsuit was initially brought by those groups, the San Francisco and U.S. Chambers of Commerce, among others, were allowed to join the lawsuit on September 11.
In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, claimed that there is "extensive anecdotal evidence" that "more illegal aliens are going home, leading to improved conditions for American workers and communities." He cited five newspaper articles for support, but four of those articles also reported that the departure of illegal immigrants might have caused or may yet cause local businesses to experience a drop in revenue and eliminate jobs.