Yesterday, former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs appeared on Univision’s Al Punto with Jorge Ramos. Throughout the interview, Dobbs struggled to present himself as a moderate and rational voice in politics with an immigration position that has been unwavering:
DOBBS: Jorge, you of all people know that I’ve never been anti-immigrant. As a matter of fact, I believe and have believed throughout in higher levels of immigration into this country if that’s what, as a matter of public policy, is needed in this country. I have been anti-illegal immigration throughout and remain so. But I’m also a man about building solutions rather than watching the radicalism of all factions create just the perpetuation of a problem. [...]
RAMOS: I just want to find out, I mean, I just want to find out if your position on immigration –
DOBBS: — But if you have that kind of cynicism and skepticism Jorge, no answer I give you will satisfy you. I’m telling what I’m telling you, I mean what I say, I’m saying throughout what I’ve said for years: rational, effective humane immigration policy in this country, border security, and port security, and we have solved the problem.
However, Dobbs’ absurd and irrational coverage of the right-wing “birther” conspiracy theory suggests otherwise. Dobbs didn’t just join racist wingnuts in demanding President Obama present his birth certificate, he also went as far as to insinuate that Obama might be an undocumented immigrant on air.
And while Dobbs may now be a “man of solutions” when it comes to immigration reform, he repeatedly bashed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 as an “amnesty bill” and falsely reported that “illegal alien gang members are eligible for amnesty,” despite the fact an amendment to the bill specifically stated that any current or former gang members would be deported. The 2007 bill which Dobbs bashed also would’ve adjusted the status of undocumented immigrants without a criminal record who registered with the government, paid a fine and back taxes, had established five years of residency, and proved they had been employed for three years — much like the path to legalization that Dobbs now advocates.
Many have speculated that Dobbs left CNN in part because his support of the “birther” movement incited conflict between himself and CNN’s leadership. However, Lou Dobbs has resorted to accusing Think Progress of conspiring with the White House to carry out “insidious and sordid attacks” simply because he’s “the leading independent voice.” After leaving CNN, he also blamed the “far left” for characterizing him as an “enemy of Latinos.”