Fox Sees “Amnesty” Everywhere

Fox News host Dave Briggs claimed that a new immigration policy, which will postpone deportation proceedings of certain undocumented workers in order to prioritize convicted criminals, is “perhaps blanket amnesty.” Fox News has a long history of labeling immigration policies “amnesty,” a term that has been shown to produce a more negative reaction than describing a policy as “a path to citizenship.”

Fox's Briggs Claims New Immigration Policy Is “Perhaps Blanket Amnesty”

Fox's Briggs Claims New Immigration Policy Is “Perhaps Blanket Amnesty.” On the August 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, guest host Dave Briggs teased a story about the Obama administration's decision to prioritize convicted criminals for deportation by saying:

BRIGGS: And the courts want them out, but the president wants to give illegal immigrants, [who are] ready to be deported, a second chance. He's going around Congress -- perhaps blanket amnesty. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/19/11]

Poll Shows “Amnesty” Is Loaded Term ...

Pew Research Poll Found More Respondents Opposed Immigration Reform When Described As “Providing Amnesty To Illegal Immigrants.” From a research brief published by the Pew Research Center on November 23, 2009:

When Congress and the president abandoned efforts to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2007, public opinion was quite conflicted. A Pew Research poll found that, among those aware of the legislation, more people opposed (41%) than supported (33%) the bill being considered by the Senate, but a solid majority of 63% of the general public supported the bill's main objective to provide a “path to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants. At the time, support for this principle was bipartisan, with nearly as many Republicans as Democrats favoring it. And even when the provision was described as “amnesty,” a majority still supported it -- though by a smaller margin of 54%-39%. Republicans were evenly divided on the question when the policy was described as “amnesty.”

The report included this chart:

[Pew Research Center, 11/23/09]

... And Fox Routinely Uses “Amnesty” When Discussing Immigration Policy


Kelly: “Critics Call” The DREAM Act “A Pathway To Amnesty For Illegals.” On the November 23, 2010, edition of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly introduced a segment on the DREAM Act by saying, in part, “Critics call [the bill] a pathway to amnesty for illegals.” She then brought on Fox host Gregg Jarrett, who said: “You know, for millions of illegals, the DREAM Act is a propitious title because it would fulfill their dream of jumping right to the front of the line and becoming U.S. citizens. Those who oppose it call it a veritable nightmare, granting amnesty right away to more than 2 million illegal immigrants, and in the end, maybe as many as 6 million or more illegals.” [Fox News, America Live, 11/23/10, via Media Matters]

Gallagher: “I Think It's Front Door Amnesty.” On the November 23, 2010, edition of Fox News' America Live, Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher described the DREAM Act by saying: “The analogy I keep using ... is that we feel sorry for these children of adults who made a bad decision and broke the law to come into the United States, but it would be like saying if one's parent is a bank robber, the child gets to keep the money and the proceeds from the bank robbery. I'm sorry, most Americans don't accept this.” Gallagher later said of the bill: “I don't think it's backdoor amnesty; I think it's front door amnesty.” [Fox News, America Live, 11/23/10, via Media Matters]

Guilfoyle: DREAM Act “Encourages People To Essentially Seek An Amnesty.” On the November 23, 2010, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle claimed that the DREAM Act “incentivizes illegality and encourages people to essentially seek an amnesty by saying, 'Sure, I'm going to be in the military.'” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 11/23/10, via Media Matters]

Fox Nation: “Shamnesty: Reid Putting The 'Lame' In 'Duck.'” In a December 1, 2010, post, Fox Nation linked to a story about Democrats attempting to advance the DREAM Act with the headline, “Shamnesty: Reid Putting The 'Lame' In 'Duck.'” [Fox Nation, 12/1/10]

Malkin Called DREAM Act “Reckless Illegal Alien Amnesty.” On the December 2, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin said: “There are so many political payoffs that are currently in the pipeline. Foremost among them, Harry Reid trying to ram through this very unpopular, expensive, and reckless illegal alien amnesty DREAM Act.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/2/10, via Media Matters]

Hannity Called The DREAM Act “Basically Amnesty.” From the December 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

SEAN HANNITY (Host): Actress Salma Hayek admits she was once an illegal immigrant in the U.S. Now the House this very night by the way passed 216-198 the DREAM Act, which is basically amnesty. [Fox News, Hannity, 12/8/10, via Media Matters]

Chris Wallace On Bloomberg's “Path To Citizenship” Support: “Isn't That Amnesty?” On Fox Broadcasting Company's Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, “You support a path to citizenship. Question: Isn't that amnesty?” [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 4/24/11]

Temporary Protections For Haitians Following Earthquake In Haiti

Fox Nation Equated Temporary Protections For Haitians In The U.S. With “Amnesty” For “Illegal Aliens.” A January 15, 2010, Fox Nation headline asserted, “Obama Moves to Grant Amnesty to Haitian Illegal Aliens.” [Media Matters, 1/15/10]

For the truth behind Fox Nation's “amnesty” headline, SEE HERE.

ICE Policies And Border Enforcement

Fox Botched ICE Policy To Claim Feds Were Granting “Backdoor Amnesty.” In August 2010, several Fox News anchors claimed that a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy meant that only illegal immigrants with criminal records would be deported, with several Fox News hosts labeling it “amnesty.”

For the truth about the ICE policy, SEE HERE.

Dobbs Claimed Obama's Border Efforts Are A “Foundation” For “Unconditional Amnesty.” On the August 9, 2010, edition of Fox News' America Live, guest Lou Dobbs called a pending border security bill “a modest border security piece of legislation,” and claimed “it would give [the Obama administration] the foundation to say, we did something about border security ... and then move ahead and have their way on the issue of unconditional amnesty.” Dobbs later claimed that “we are not seeing a commitment to actual detention and apprehension.” [Media Matters, 8/30/10]

Immigration Reform

Fox Nation Relabeled Immigration Bill “Amnesty Bill.” In a July 9, 2009, post, Fox Nation linked to an Associated Press (AP) article about an upcoming immigration bill under the headline, “Schumer: Amnesty Bill Ready by Labor Day.” The original AP headline was, “Schumer: Immigration bill to be ready by Labor Day.” [Fox Nation, 7/9/09, via Media Matters]

Fox Nation: “House Dems Introduce Illegal Alien Amnesty Bill.” In a December 16, 2009, post, Fox Nation linked to an article about a proposed immigration reform bill under the headline, “House Dems Introduce Illegal Alien Amnesty Bill.” [Fox Nation, 12/16/09, via Media Matters]

Kelly Said Immigration Reform Bill Would Grant “Amnesty To Illegals.” On the March 19, 2010, edition of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly claimed that a bill that would launch a “major immigration overhaul” would “grant amnesty to illegals after asking them to pay a fine, among other things.” [Fox News, America Live, 3/19/10]

Fox Aired “Hate” Group's Claim That Obama Promised “Mass Amnesty” In Exchange For Health Care Votes. On the March 21, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday, co-host Dave Briggs introduced a segment by asking, “Did [President Obama] agree to amnesty for illegals in exchange for votes [for the health care bill]?” During the segment, Briggs' guest Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), claimed that Obama “promised mass amnesty for 13 million illegal aliens in exchange for getting the support of the Hispanic caucus” for health care reform. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated FAIR an anti-immigrant hate group. [Fox News, Fox News Sunday, 3/21/10; Media Matters, 3/30/11]

Fox & Friends Referred To Immigration Reform As “Amnesty.” On the May 12, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson referred to upcoming immigration reform as “amnesty.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/12/10]

Fox Reporter La Jeunesse: Senator Boxer Is A “Big-Spending Liberal” While Carly Fiorina Opposes “Amnesty” For Immigrants. On the June 9, 2010, edition of America's Newsroom, reporter William La Jeunesse described the senatorial race in California by calling Senator Barbara Boxer (D) a “big-spending liberal” and saying that her opponent, Carly Fiorina, opposed “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 6/9/10]

Kelly: “A Group Of Republican Senators ... Are Demanding To Know If The Administration Plans To Grant Amnesty To 11 Million Illegals.” On the July 27, 2010, edition of America Live, Kelly said, “A group of Republican senators -- a dozen, to be exact -- are demanding to know if the administration plans to grant amnesty to 11 million illegals here in the United States.” [Fox News, America Live, 7/27/10]