Today, Fox News Channel owner Rupert Murdoch testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law Membership on the “Role of Immigration in Strengthening America’s Economy.” In his testimony, Murdoch called for comprehensive immigration reform which includes a path to citizenship that brings 11-12 million new people into the U.S. tax base. According to Murdoch, “it’s impossible to secure our borders without an overall package of reforms”:
Our partnership advocates reform that gives a path to citizenship to responsible, law-abiding immigrants who are in the U.S. today without proper authority. It is nonsense to talk about expelling 11 or 12 million people. Not only is it impractical, it is cost-prohibitive. A study this year put the cost of mass deportation at $285 billion over five years. There are better ways to spend our money. [...]
A full path to legalization: requiring unauthorized immigrants to register, undergo a security check, pay taxes, and learn English would bring these immigrants out of a shadow economy and into our tax base. According to one study, a path to legalization would contribute an estimated $1.5 trillion to the gross domestic product over ten years.
Earlier this year, Murdoch indicated that the media should be involved in the push for comprehensive immigration reform. However, Fox News employees don’t seem to agree. More than any other network, Fox News has repeatedly and consistently advocated against immigration reform and referred to Murdoch’s proposal as “amnesty.” Fox News superstar Bill O’Reilly called it outright “crap” that undocumented immigrants pay taxes. Fox News host Eric Bolling similarly claimed that American citizens “pay taxes,” as opposed to “illegals not paying taxes.”
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called Murdoch out on the blatant contradiction later in the hearing, pointing out, “it does not appear that what you are talking and the way you are discussing it is the way it is discussed on Fox.” Murdoch defended his position and his network:
We are home to all views on Fox. [...] We don’t censor that or take any particular line at all. We are not anti-immigrant on Fox News. [...] We certainly employ a lot of immigrants at Fox. In all arms of Fox. We have many immigrants there and we do not take a consistent anti-immigrant line.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) supported Murdoch’s defense of Fox News, saying most people think that the network is “the most fair.”