Bill O’Reilly comes out for immigration reform bill [VIDEO]

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
Font Size:

On his Thursday Fox News Channel program, host Bill O’Reilly use his opening monologue, “Talking Points Memo,” to endorse the current immigration reform legislation touted by the “Gang of Eight.”

The host of “The O’Reilly Factor” laid out the pros of the bill, and suggested it would be an improvement upon the current system.

“Is reforming immigration the right thing to do for America? That is the subject of this evening’s ‘Talking Points Memo,'” O’Reilly said. “The controversy over illegal immigration took another turn today: In order to persuade conservatives to support a new law, some Republican senators, including John McCain and Marco Rubio, are hoping that tough new border proposals that will cost billions will be enough to pass legislation that would allow illegal aliens already here to work legally.”

“Basically, the new stuff comes down to doubling the border patrol from 20,000 to 40,000 on the Mexican front, building 700 miles of new fence and installing a variety of high-tech gizmos designed to track those who cross the border illegally,” he continued. “In addition, the e-Verify system will be used so that aliens who do not follow the rules couldn’t work in the USA at all. Now, the bill is extremely complicated, and if passed would take years to implement. Sen. Rubio told me on the phone today that it would be at least 13 years — 13 — before the people in the country illegally right now could gain full, legal working status, and even longer to achieve citizenship.”

After laying out his interpretation of the immigration reform legislation, O’Reilly voiced his support.

“‘Talking Points’ supports immigration reform even though I well understand the new law will be somewhat chaotic and will be a magnet for even more people to come here illegally, which is why we need stepped-up security on the border,” O’Reilly declared. “For conservative Americans the issue is a difficult one because immigration reform would reward bad behavior — the illegal entry into the USA. But please keep in mind that part of that illegal behavior was actually encouraged by the federal government, which for decades did nothing to stop it. Also, some business people who make money from cheap labor aided and abetted illegal immigration.”

O’Reilly explained the calculus involved in the GOP’s position on immigration, admitting it could hurt the party politically.

“The Republican Party has a lot to lose here,” he said. “If it doesn’t compromise, many Hispanic voters will reject the GOP entirely, pretty much dooming the party in the future. That’s reality. Liberals, on the other hand, are generally soft on illegal immigration because it helps the Democrats, as most new voters support the entitlement party. Also, the left likes to bill itself as the ideology of compassion.”

O’Reilly responded to the allegations in a recent New Yorker magazine article by Ryan Lizza that suggested his networked colluded with pro-immigration reform senators. He denied that was a case and reiterated his support.

“A footnote off all of this comes in The New Yorker magazine, which implies that Fox News colluded with Republican senators on immigration reform,” he said. “The writer, Ryan Lizza, reports that I, your humble correspondent, had private conversations with Republican senators and agreed to support the immigration bill in those conversations. That never happened. I never collude with anyone. This is a no-collusion zone. I occasionally talk with politicians to give me information, as every political analyst and reporter does. But there are never ever any deals made here about anything.”

“Back to reality. It is time for the USA to pass immigration reform,” O’Reilly concluded. “For years I’ve called for a more secure southern border — you know that. And now it looks like the secure border is in reach, at least somewhat. So I hope this bill does become law.”

Follow Jeff on Twitter