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Molly Butler / Media Matters

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Fox News uses the end of Title 42 to spread “great replacement” theory rhetoric

The Great Replacement Theory was a staple of Tucker Carlson's Fox show – and has inspired multiple mass shooters

In the weeks leading up to the end of Title 42, Fox News predictably reacted with fearmongering, xenophobia, renewed calls to close the border, and evocation of the “great replacement” theory.

The Trump-era policy that expelled migrants from the United States and effectively shut down the asylum system under the guise of containing the spread of COVID-19, came to an end on May 12. Public health experts had long rejected the idea that migrants were a major factor in the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and had repeatedly called for the end of Title 42.

Fox is notorious for pushing the white supremacist “great replacement” lie, which warns there is a conspiracy facilitated by those in power to intentionally “replace” white citizens with nonwhite immigrants, ultimately threatening “the political power and culture of white people.” The vile, baseless lie has fueled a number of mass shootings.

Before his Fox show was canceled, Tucker Carlson had led the charge to push the “great replacement” conspiracy theory. Fox Corp chief Lachlan Murdoch gave Carlson the green light to continue; this research shows how people across Fox are still following Carlson's example.

Here is a list of examples of Fox personalities and guests – both on the “news” side and “opinion” side – recently spreading “great replacement” theory rhetoric.

    • Anchor Bill Hemmer suggested there is “a strategy” behind the Biden administration’s immigration policy. Fox host Lawrence Jones agreed: “They’ve made it very clear: They want the people to come.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 4/28/23
    • While The Story with Martha MacCallum aired a chyron saying “Border towns brace for post-Title 42 migrant surge,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) claimed, “This is being done intentionally.” [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 4/28/23
    • Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Jonathan Fahey claimed the Democrats are “playing the long game on this and they do expect them [migrants] to be voters.” [Fox News, Fox News Tonight, 4/28/23
    • Fox host Brian Kilmeade accused President Joe Biden of causing a border crisis, adding, “They believe on some level, perhaps, that those millions of people will be Democratic voters.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/1/23
    • Fox host Laura Ingraham and frequent guest Victor Davis Hanson complained about accusations that Republicans believed in the “great replacement” theory, only for Ingraham to turn around and push the extremist rhetoric: “This is their goal. This is why they say, well, they’re being effective. Yeah, [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas is right, they are being effective — to remake America.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/1/23
    • Kilmeade speculated about  the  “big picture” behind the end of Title 42: “Some say it's to — eventually for Democrats to believe that every vote — every Hispanic that's in our country, legally or not, is their vote.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/2/23
    • Host Harris Faulkner commented on the end of Title 42: “We’re getting ready in the weirdest of ways. It's like we're preparing for an invasion but we don't want to stop the invasion from happening.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 5/2/23
    • Fox contributor Tomi Lahren accused Democrats of viewing immigration as “an opportunity.” She continued, “It is in fact a crisis, but when they want more voters into this country, they’re going to make sure that they do that by any means possible. They’re already planning on giving these people amnesty at some point. And then we know voting rights is going to come right along with it. So this is all by design. Democrats play the long game.” [Fox News, Hannity, 5/2/23
    • Ken Cuccinelli, former acting deputy secretary of the Department of Human Services, said the Biden administration was “willing to accept this carnage to have this invasive open border because they view it as in their political interest long term.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/3/23
    • Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick declared, “This country has been invaded for years,” and added that after Biden’s tenure, “10 to 15% of the total population will be in America illegally. That's a plan.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 5/3/23]
    • Rep. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed that migration is the Democrats’ “intended effect” of ending Title 42, adding, “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and the Senate Democrats, they want 6 million to become 10 million to become 12 million to become 15 million.” [Fox News, Hannity, 5/3/23
    • Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) voiced his disagreement with Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) assessment that the Biden administration was clueless when it came to the border: “They’re not clueless at all. They know exactly what’s happening. They’re causing what’s happening there. It’s their intention for this to happen. It’s not that they're mysteriously unaware.” [Fox News, The Faulkner Focus, 5/5/23]
    • White nationalist and former Trump immigration advisor Stephen Miller said, “This is the mass resettlement of illegal aliens.” Miller reportedly led efforts to enact Title 42, with Olivia Troye, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence, even describing the order as “a Stephen Miller special.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/8/23
    • American Majority CEO Ned Ryun described the border as “a useful crisis that the left has intentionally created to transform this country” and claimed the left was waging war against the U.S. via “rapid mass immigration in which you try to drown out these people by importing new ones.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/8/23]
    • Host Sean Hannity: “I would imagine if we charge for citizenship, that's something of great value and that they would be rewarded politically for that.” [Fox News, Hannity, 5/9/23
    • Ingraham: “Their goal is to fundamentally change America. Not just politically, every four years at the ballot box, every two years, but culturally.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/9/23]
    • Ingraham repeated her claim, “They have been planning to fundamentally change America,” and added, “Elections are pretty inconvenient — you never know what’s going to happen — and they have to change the country. And this — I think they think this is their only shot to really change it, for sure, for certain. " [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/9/23]
    • Cuccinelli said that the “dam” of migrants at the border “is going to intentionally be broken by the president of the United States.” He continued later in the segment, saying, “What you and I look at as a disaster, Brian, this is intentional policy. Their only concern in the White House is optics. They want the flood of illegals coming.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/10/23
    • After anchor Martha MacCallum played a clip of Biden in 2019 encouraging asylum-seekers to seek refuge in the U.S., Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) responded, “This is done on purpose. There's no accident. This is all part of a plan. What that plan is, I don't know. But the plan is to flood this country with immigrants — and illegal immigrants.” [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 5/10/23
    • Host Jesse Watters explicitly pushed the “great replacement” theory, stating, “They want to make Texas a Democrat state. And you'll never see another Republican in the White House after that.” [Fox News, The Five, 5/10/23]
    • Cruz: “This is a full-on invasion. It is a crisis. And the Biden administration is cheering it on. They’re — they want this to happen. They want more people to come in.” [Fox News, Hannity, 5/10/23
    • Ingraham said Biden’s immigration policies were working as “intended,” adding, “It's a complete attempt to transform America through the resettlement of all foreigners who can pay the cartels for passage across the border.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/10/23
    • Anchor Sandra Smith posed a leading question to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), asking, “The president acknowledged chaos, but is it chaos? Is anybody shocked by this? Or is it a well-executed strategy, Senator?” Graham responded, “It is a choice. This is not an accident. … There’s elements in the Biden administration that want more illegal immigration, not less. … They’re making a conscious effort to allow as many people in this country as they can get in, I think. … There comes a point where you have to believe they mean for this to happen.” [Fox News, America Reports, 5/11/23]
    • Guest Ben Ferguson claimed Democrats were trying to “change America” through immigration. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 5/11/23
    • Watters suggested the Biden administration’s plan with immigration was to turn Texas blue: “What are the results? Texas turns blue? Open borders is the plan, right? Yeah, we know.” {Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 5/11/23
    • Miller made an appearance on Fox News Tonight to claim Biden’s “end game” was to “crash the system, flood our cities, bring in millions upon millions of illegal immigrants, break the morale of CBP, break the morale of ICE, breat the morale of country, break the morale of Congress, and then say, all we can do now is give amnesty and citizenship to the millions we’ve let in.” Guest host Kayleigh McEnany lamented, “It’s a sad day. … All the hard work you’ve put in, dismantled.” [Fox News, Fox News Tonight, 5/11/23]
    • In a wildly xenophobic rant fearmongering about immigration, Ingraham stated, “The open borders radicals think every migrant sleeping on the ground tonight waiting for processing is a future Democrat voter.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/11/23
    • Host Pete Hegseth said:  “I say we just cut to the chase and the Biden administration should just hand a ballot to every illegal coming across the border. Just speed it up. Give them a ballot, give them a phone, give them some cash.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 5/12/23]
    • Ingraham said that replacement theory was “true”: “When you're bringing all these people into the United States, at some point they cancel out other people's votes, or at least change the electoral makeup.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/12/23]