American workers are struggling to find jobs and illegal immigrants flooding across the border are straining the country’s resources, but Rupert Murdoch believes amnesty legislation “can’t wait.”
A day after dining with President Barack Obama’s top adviser Valerie Jarrett, Murdoch, the Chairman of the group that owns Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, pushed for amnesty and an unlimited number of high-tech guest-worker visas in a Wednesday op-ed in the Journal.
Murdoch said his “heart sank” when he learned that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) was ousted last week in a primary election that was widely viewed as a referendum against amnesty legislation.
“Like others who want comprehensive immigration reform, I worried that Mr. Cantor’s loss would be misconstrued and make Congress reluctant to tackle this urgent need,” Murdoch wrote. He praised Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Grover Norquist for pushing for amnesty legislation and spoke about his own immigrant experience, though Murdoch de-emphasized that he came to the country legally, unlike those he feels should get amnesty.
He urged Congress to pass a path to citizenship for all of the country’s illegal immigrants and eliminate the cap on H-1B visas, which he says is “arbitrary and results in U.S. companies struggling to find the high-skill workers they need to continue growing.”
Murdoch falsely stated that there is a “shortage of qualified American candidates” in the high-tech sector. In fact, numerous scholars and studies from academia and liberal, mainstream, and conservative organizations have proven that there is actually a surplus and not a shortage of American high-tech workers, contrary to Murdoch’s assertion.
He also implied that Americans who are concerned about illegal immigrants are xenophobic while acknowledging that the idea of amnesty legislation, which the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of American workers, is complicated by the fear that Americans have of changing “economic circumstances.”
“Is the idea of immigration reform complicated by the fact that some immigrants went outside the legal system to be here?” he asks. “Yes. It is complicated even more by the fear some Americans have, quite naturally, of how changing populations might also change our culture, communities and economic circumstances.”
Murdoch’s Journal has been a prominent cheerleader for amnesty legislation. On the day Cantor was ousted, the Journal got egg on its face by writing that amnesty was not a factor in GOP primaries.
Fox News has been neutral, at best, and supportive, at times, regarding immigration reform legislation. For instance, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who also supported the Senate’s amnesty bill, tried to convince his viewers that Cantor did not lose because of his support for amnesty legislation, despite evidence to the contrary. In fact, Dave Brat, who was the candidate in the race, said that amnesty was the “central” issue in the race.
Last year, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said it was “quite telling” that Fox News hosts would not allow him to discuss his opposition to amnesty legislation when he made an appearance on the network.
“Now I told the people at Fox that I wanted to talk about this today three or four times and they wouldn’t do it,” Limbaugh said on his radio show after his appearance. “They were not interested in bringing this subject up. I wanted to talk about this in relationship to the current state of the Republican party and they wouldn’t do it.”