Fox News Relies On Discredited Anti-Immigrant Filmmaker To Attack Immigration Rally

Fox News hosted discredited documentary filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch to attack an immigration rally that took place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, accusing non-English speaking participants of being undocumented and attacking participants for “climbing on some of the statues.”

On October 8, several thousand demonstrators gathered on the Mall to call on lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration legislation that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants:  

[T]housands of activists -- from young children wearing white T-shirts that read “Don't Deport My Dad” to activists cheering and waving signs that proclaimed: “No Human is Illegal” -- gathered on the Mall on a cool October afternoon. More than a dozen congressional Democrats and four House Republicans came before the crowd to push for a reform bill in the House.

Fox News reported on the rally by hosting filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch, who characterized the protest as an “illegal immigrant rally.” On the October 9 edition of America's Newsroom, host Bill Hemmer spoke to Lynch who likened the protest to a “rock concert” and said, “I felt like I was back down in Texas along the border where there's no fence and you say, 'come on in!' I mean, they were welcomed.”

During the interview, Lynch also implied that non-English speaking participants in the rally were undocumented: “I asked them straight out--are you undocumented? They didn't even understand what I was saying, so there's your answer I guess.” Lynch did acknowledge that he did not “get to ask all 10,000 of them” that question.

Lynch's anti-immigrant films They Come to America I & II were, according to the Center for New Community, “so poorly made and offensive that not a single production company or film distributor in the U.S. or Canada would release it.”  The films were heavily promoted by the Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group.  Lynch has also repeatedly smeared immigrants as criminals, saying some immigrants are coming to America “to cut your throat.” 

As Media Matters previously found, Fox networks have hosted Lynch at least eight times since May, giving him a platform for his extreme views on immigration. On Fox's Huckabee, Lynch has asserted that “an abundance of Chinese” are crossing the Mexican border to create a “cyber 9/11.” Lynch also said on Fox & Friends that he has found “Middle Eastern people” working alongside border patrol agents and claimed that “terror at its worst level” is coming over the border.

Fox News has a history of allowing extreme anti-immigrant guests to push myths on immigration.