Thursday night on Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly came out in full-scale support for the immigration reform bill currently making its way through the Senate.
Despite its border security shortcomings, O’Reilly said, “it looks like the secure border is in reach – at least somewhat.” He continued, “Talking Points supports immigration reform, even though I well understand the new law will be somewhat chaotic…will be a magnet for more people to come here illegally, which is why we need stepped up security around the border.” He concluded, “I hope this bill does become law.”
Multiple Republican senators have stridently fought the notion that the immigration reform bill currently under consideration is sufficient to guarantee any true border security. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, “We must stop this Gang of 8 immigration bill, which would give amnesty to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants with no guarantee of a secure border.” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) (R-AZ) stated that his amendment, which was rejected, would have guaranteed border security, while the current version does not: “The difference between my amendment and their bill is that their bill promises the sun and the moon when it comes to border security but it has no trigger mechanism.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) explained, “I don’t think it will stop the reform waiting on border security. It allows the reforms to go ahead and tries to get border security, but I think they should be dependent upon each other. So, unless that happens, I’m not sure I can support it.”
O’Reilly explained that some Republican senators – he cited Sens. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) – were trying to strengthen border security measures. The new proposal, O’Reilly stated, would come down to doubling the border patrol from 20,000 to 40,000, building 700 miles of new fence, and installing new technology to track illegal border crossers. What of the pathway to citizenship? O’Reilly said that he spoke with Rubio on the phone, and Rubio assured him that the pathway would be 13 years long: “Sen. Rubio told me on the phone today,” O’Reilly said, “that it would be at least 13 years – thirteen – before people in the country illegally right now could gain full legal working status and even longer to achieve citizenship.” Breitbart News has previously reported that the current proposed Senate legislation would immediately grant illegal immigrants legal working status. Illegal immigrants could become full citizens in as few as 13 years under the “Gang of Eight” bill.
Mirroring Rubio’s talking points, O’Reilly stated that the feds have been too easy on illegal immigration, and so have businesses. He also said that if the GOP does not embrace immigration reform, it would “doom the party” in the future. “That’s reality,” he stated, though he offered no data or new information to support these claims. “There were never, ever any deals made here.”
O’Reilly denied a New Yorker report that he had private conversations with Republican senators and agreed to support the immigration reform bill. “This is a no collusion zone,” he scoffed. “There are never, ever any deals made here.”
After his monologue on immigration, O’Reilly debated radio talk show host and bestselling author Laura Ingraham on the issue. She told O’Reilly not to follow Democrats’ “phony, fraudulent narrative,” and said that she was “uproariously laughing” at Republican senators who supported the bill. She also pointed out that support for the bill from lax border security advocates like Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and President Obama should show that the bill does not do enough for border security. O’Reilly said, “I don’t think McCain is a liar.”