Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney debunked the theory that rounding up and deporting immigrants is a solution to economic problems -- a notion that is widespread throughout the conservative media.
During an appearance on Fox & Friends to discuss Greece's efforts to round up and deport undocumented immigrants, co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Varney if deporting immigrants would help Greece's economy and whether America should “follow suit.”
Varney said that rounding up and deporting immigrants wouldn't help Greece with its economic problems and denied that they were taking jobs from Greek citizens. He also said that we shouldn't round up immigrants in the United States either:
VARNEY: Should America follow suit, a round up of illegals here? I would say absolutely not. We're not in financial crisis, and we're a very different country. We have a very strong tradition of acceptance of people from all over the world, legal or illegal, we don't round them up and throw them out. We don't do that, thank heavens.
Economists agree that immigration is beneficial to the American economy and that immigrants don't have a negative impact on the jobs of American-born workers. And studies have shown that comprehensive immigration reform could lead to a boost to the economy.
But the myth that undocumented immigrants harm the economy is very common in the right-wing media.
In June, Fox's Eric Bolling said: “If you deport all the 12 or 15 million illegals back to where they came from, then there would be demand” for workers in the United States. Bolling made similar comments in September 2011.
After the Department of Homeland Security announced in June it would allow certain young undocumented immigrants to apply to stay in the country and legally work, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and The Daily Caller suggested that the policy would result in job losses for American citizens
Between November 2011 and January 2012, The Daily Caller and several Fox hosts tried to connect a strict immigration law in Alabama to that state's drop in the unemployment rate -- a connection disputed by Alabama's Republican governor and local economists.
Last October, National Review Online's Mark Krikorian asked: “Is the issuance of green cards to more than 1 million legal immigrants per year (plus hundreds of thousands of 'temporary' workers) a good idea when we have 9 percent unemployment?”
Varney also expressed relief that America doesn't “round [immigrants] up and throw them out.” But that's exactly what his colleague Bolling has repeatedly pushed for. Bolling has even gone so far as to say we would go into schools to round up undocumented immigrants.