Posted tagged ‘Illegal Immigration’

Rubio, Ryan Try to Salvage Immigration Reform on Talk Radio

June 22, 2013

Over the past week, Republican politicians fanned out across conservative talk radio shows seeking to sell the immigration reform package in the Senate, who in 2007 helped “sound the amnesty alarm,” to kill the immigration bill, as explained in Chapter 9 of The Right Frequency.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., were the leading figures this week defending the bill.

Rubio told host Bill Bennett, “My goal here is not politics. I don’t believe that this is the salvation or the doom of the Republican Party. This is an issue that confronts our country, and it has to be solved because it’s bad for America. That’s why I’m involved in the issue.”

Rubio, a likely GOP presidential candidate in 2016, continued, “Now you mention legalization, I think there’s confusion. Permanent residency in the United States, a green card, that’s what permanent residency is. In this bill, that does not happen until there is an E-Verify system that is fully implemented, until there is an entry-exit system that is fully implemented, and until there is a border security plan that is fully implemented.”

Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, hit both the Mark Levin and the Laura Ingraham programs this week to attempt to persuade the conservative listeners of both shows to back the bill. He did very little to win either host over.

“Not now but in the future we’re gonna have labor shortages,” Ryan told Ingraham. “Immigration in a decade or so can help us. That means we need to get an immigration system that works.”

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh told listeners there is a reason for the border enforcement amendments that appear likely to be accepted, even after the supporters of the bill previously rejected such language.

“There’s a reason all these amendments are being offered,” Limbaugh said. “They don’t have the votes yet.  They are trying to sweep up votes.  They are Hoovering votes. They are coming up with amendments to get Republicans that are on the fence.  But there are some Democrats that have to run for reelection 2014, and they know what their constituents are thinking about this.  So it’s hard every day.”

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.




Immigration Reform and Talk Radio

April 27, 2013

Will the fate of immigration reform be in the hands of talk radio even as popular Republicans are stepping forward to support it?

Last month, the Republican National Committee released an “autopsy” for the party that called for, among other things, supporting immigration reform. Likewise last month, Tea Party favorite and likely 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul expressed support for a process to provide legal status to illegal immigrants. Another likely 2016 GOP hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio previously announced support for immigration reform and is the key member of the Gang of Eight.

But in 2007, talk radio sounded the amnesty alarm. Conservative hosts were blamed (or credited) with derailing a bipartisan measure supported by Republican President Bush and congressional Democrats. Fred V. Lucas writes about this in The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media Establishment (History Publishing Co.).

Book Cover

After the defeat of the 2007 immigration bill, prominent Republican Sen. Trent Lott famously griped, “talk radio is running America.” Many Democrats, feeling the medium was too powerful, demanded a return to the Fairness Doctrine.

“The last time an immigration bill had a real chance, talk radio spoke in near uniformity against the bill,” Lucas said. “It looks like it will be much different this time. Certainly there is no lockstep consensus. Sean Hannity – with the second highest ratings of any host – says he evolved on a so-called ‘pathway to citizenship.’ Other hosts still insist it’s ‘amnesty.’ Many conservative talkers are just avoiding the topic altogether, or barely addressing it, perhaps waiting to see how it shakes out.”

“Rush Limbaugh for example has pointed out that surveys show reform is not the top concern of Hispanic voters, so there is no guarantee this will pick up Republican votes as the RNC and some politicians seem believe,” Lucas continued. “That said, Limbaugh isn’t as adamant about the matter as he was in the past.”

After Trent Lott’s assertion, Limbaugh defiantly posed on the cover of his newsletter under the words, “I run America.”

The Right Frequency details how most American talk hosts including Limbaugh, Hannity, Mark Levin and Glenn Beck called on their listeners to call Capitol Hill in opposition to “amnesty.” Listeners obliged, melting the phone lines of their Senators and Representatives and succeeded in stopping the bill backed by leadership in both parties.

However, not everyone thought it was a good idea. The Right Frequency tells of one conservative host who believes his colleagues were short sighted and that Barack Obama would have lost the 2008 election had some version of immigration bill passed.

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for and a contributing editor for Townhall Magazine.

To read more, click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.