Serial Health Care Misinformer Betsy McCaughey Dabbles In Immigration Reform Conspiracies
Blog ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER
Right-wing media have adopted Betsy McCaughey's unfounded conspiracy theory that immigration reform, like health care reform, is a secret plot to create a permanent one-party system, reminiscent of Marxist Russian premier Vladimir Lenin. Like her health care fearmongering, McCaughey has no evidence to support her charges.
Betsy McCaughey, the former lieutenant governor of New York, has a long history of pushing conspiracy theories about health care reform, including that the bill's outreach provisions are designed to create a "beholden" Democratic majority. In an interview with The Daily Caller's Ginni Thomas, McCaughey revived the same baseless attacks on the Senate immigration proposal, claiming that "you can count on" third party outreach groups to register immigrants as Democrats. Later in the interview, McCaughey claimed President Obama was using the bill to "elevat[e] community organizations to a fifth branch of government without any of the rules that limit what the other branches can do." McCaughey went on to claim the tactics were similar to those used by Lenin.
McCaughey's baseless conspiracy theory was picked up by Andrea Tantaros, co-host of Fox News' The Five, who cited McCaughey to call the bill a "Christmas tree of carve-outs for lobbyists," claiming, "she says that it funnels money to groups like La Raza, community organizing groups, takes the authority away from the DHS and lets them handle the amnesty process":
Of course, the text of the bill limits the scope of activities for which organizations can use federal funding.
According to section 2106, the section cited by McCaughey, these activities include informing the public about "eligibility and benefits of registered provision immigration status," assistance to individuals "submitting applications for registered provisional immigration status," assistance with changing immigration status, and aid in understanding and navigating the citizenship process. The bill requires these organizations to be "a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, including a community, faith-based or other immigrant-serving organization, whose staff has demonstrated qualifications, experience, and expertise in providing quality services to immigrants, refugees, persons granted asylum, or persons applying for such statuses."
McCaughey has pushed a similar conspiracy with the health care reform law, claiming that outreach programs that the legislation pays for are a secret plan to create a "beholden Democratic voting majority." This is only the latest health care conspiracy theory from McCaughey, who previously originated the lie that health care contained "death panels" that would euthanize seniors.