O'Reilly falsely attacked Krugman over immigration column

››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

Bill O'Reilly falsely attacked New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for "writing about illegal immigrants" but refusing to "put the word 'illegal' in there." In fact, the portion of Krugman's March 27 column that O'Reilly read referred to all immigrants, not only those here illegally. Later in his column, Krugman referred specifically to "illegal immigrants," "illegal immigration," and "an illegal immigrant."

On the March 27 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly falsely attacked New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for "writing about illegal immigrants" but refusing to "put the word 'illegal' in there." In fact, the portion of Krugman's March 27 column that O'Reilly read -- in which Krugman argued that "[b]asic decency requires that we provide immigrants, once they're here, with essential health care, education for their children, and more" -- referred to all immigrants, not only those here illegally. Later in his column, Krugman referred specifically to "illegal immigrants," "illegal immigration," and "an illegal immigrant."

O'Reilly also misrepresented Krugman's views on illegal immigration, falsely suggesting that according to Krugman, "we have to let them all in." In fact, Krugman -- who O'Reilly said was a "quasi-socialist" -- wrote in his column: "Realistically, we'll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants. Mainly that means better controls on illegal immigration."

From Krugman's March 27 column (subscription required):

Finally, modern America is a welfare state, even if our social safety net has more holes in it than it should -- and low-skill immigrants threaten to unravel that safety net.

Basic decency requires that we provide immigrants, once they're here, with essential health care, education for their children, and more. As the Swiss writer Max Frisch wrote about his own country's experience with immigration, ''We wanted a labor force, but human beings came.'' Unfortunately, low-skill immigrants don't pay enough taxes to cover the cost of the benefits they receive.

Worse yet, immigration penalizes governments that act humanely. Immigrants are a much more serious fiscal problem in California than in Texas, which treats the poor and unlucky harshly, regardless of where they were born.

We shouldn't exaggerate these problems. Mexican immigration, says the Borjas-Katz study, has played only a ''modest role'' in growing U.S. inequality. And the political threat that low-skill immigration poses to the welfare state is more serious than the fiscal threat: the disastrous Medicare drug bill alone does far more to undermine the finances of our social insurance system than the whole burden of dealing with illegal immigrants.

But modest problems are still real problems, and immigration is becoming a major political issue. What are we going to do about it?

Realistically, we'll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants. Mainly that means better controls on illegal immigration. But the harsh anti-immigration legislation passed by the House, which has led to huge protests -- legislation that would, among other things, make it a criminal act to provide an illegal immigrant with medical care -- is simply immoral.

From the March 27 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: Now, once they get here -- and this is very interesting -- the far left wants them to immediately go on the dole. This is from Paul Krugman, he's the quasi-socialist columnist in The New York Times, writing today, quote: "Basic decency requires that we provide immigrants" -- not illegal, he just says immigrants. He's writing about illegal immigrants, but he won't put the word "illegal" in there.

Let me start again, quote: "Basic decency requires that we provide immigrants, once they're here, with essential health care, education for their children, and more," unquote. This is the quasi-socialist Krugman.

So not only do we have to let them all in, but we got to pay for everything that happens to them. We, we, the people of the United States, the 300 million of us. Now, this is insane.

Posted In
Immigration
Network/Outlet
Westwood One
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The Radio Factor
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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