O'Reilly falsely claimed Kennedy-McCain immigration bill would address border security only by increasing border patrol

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

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 the April 10 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the Senate immigration bill, sponsored by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), "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, among other things, increase interior enforcement and electronic surveillance and provide for construction of additional barriers and fences along the border.

On March 27, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an immigration bill based on Kennedy and McCain's proposed legislation, "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act." In addition to providing a guest worker program and a path for illegal immigrants to attain citizenship, the Kennedy-McCain bill also calls for numerous other measures designed to increase border security. For instance, according to a fact sheet provided by Kennedy, the bill would:

  • Double interior enforcement by adding "1,000 investigators per year for next 5 years"

  • Create a "[n]ew [s]ecurity [p]erimeter" by "add[ing] new technology at the border to create [a] 'virtual fence' "

  • "Tighten[] [c]ontrols" by "expand[ing] exit-entry security system at all land borders and airports"

  • Call for the "[c]onstruction of [b]arriers" by "mandat[ing] new roads and vehicle barriers at borders"

  • Call for the "[c]onstruction of [f]ences" by "provid[ing] additional border fences at specific vulnerable sectors"

  • "[A]uthorize new permanent highway checkpoints near border"

  • Demand a "[c]omprehensive [s]urveillance [p]lan" that would "mandate[] new land and water surveillance plan[s]"

  • "Create[] new crime for construction, financing, and use of unlawful tunnels."

From the April 10 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Now, what's happening in the debate is deplorable. Number one, if you want to secure the border and hold illegal aliens accountable for breaking immigration law, you're inhumane. You're inhumane. Americans seeking strict enforcement of immigration laws are bad people, and even worse, conservatives. But the open border crowd is humane and holistic. Just read The New York Times and other left-wing outlets.

Well, "Talking Points" is fed up with the bull. So, here's the truth. The Kennedy-McCain bill would not secure the border or stop rampant illegal entry. The bill provides for more border patrol agents, but little else on the security side. The [Senate Majority Leader Bill] Frist [R-TN] bill's a bit tougher, but not much. So, at this point, the Senate simply doesn't want to secure the border, period.

[...]

LINDA CHAVEZ (Fox News political analyst and chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity): Michelle [Malkin], my point is that this is like a three-legged stool. You can't fix one leg. The stool will not stand. There really are three issues. One is border security. It certainly is the top of the list. The second is what to do about the 12 million people who are here. And the third is what to do about our own needs as a country for new faces, new workers. We have --

O'REILLY: OK. But, Linda --

CHAVEZ: -- a need for those workers.

O'REILLY: -- the Senate bill does not address border security in any meaningful way, neither the McCain-Kennedy nor the Frist versions. They add 2,500 border patrol a year and that's it.

CHAVEZ: Well -- absolutely --

O'REILLY: That's not going to cut it when you have hundreds of thousands of people coming across.

Posted In
Immigration, Border Security
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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