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Garrett: "Clinton Accused Republicans of Looking to Jail Jesus"

Reported by Janie - March 28, 2006

Yesterday on "Special Report with Brit Hume", Fox News Correspondent Major Garrett discussed the immigration compromise achieved in the Senate Judiciary Committee, but couldn't control himself and had to take another dig at Senator Hillary Clinton by exaggerating her comments to a point where they no longer made sense.

Garrett opened his report, "...The Senate Judiciary Committee labored for about 8 hours on a bill it's going to send to the Senate floor for debate tomorrow. Here's how the Chairman, Arlen Specter, wrapped up today's proceedings."

AS: "The bill is reported to the floor. It's been…" (Applause)

MG: "A realist Jim (Jim Angle, who was in for Brit Hume), might say that those were qualified cheers because the Senate Judiciary Committee did not tackle the biggest issue it was facing, meaning a guest worker program or a path to legalization for millions of illegal immigrants already here in America, but it did deal with other issues, all the way watched by protestors and advocates for illegal immigrants here now. Protestors on Capital Hill reject new 'get tough' measures on illegal aliens. They scored two victories. The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected a house move to change illegal border crossings from a misdemeanor to a felony."

Comment: Garrett qualifies the bill as a "get tough" measure, in an attempt to paint protestors, and those against the bill (which Democrats have objected to certain measures in the bill) as weak.

Garrett cut to a clip of Senator John Cornyn from yesterday's hearings, "The House Bill made that a felony and I want to be clear, I don't agree with that and I don't know anyone on the Committee who agrees with that."

Comment: Clinton also spoke out about her adversity to making it a felony for illegal immigrants to be here (as well as other Democrats), but Fox specifically chose a Republican after they have repeatedly demonized Clinton for her opinion.

MG: "The committee also agreed to protect churches and charities from house language protestors feared could lead to the arrest of Samaritans who helped an illegal alien."

Garrett cut to a clip of Senator Dick Durbin: "A priest who councils an undocumented mother to stay in the United States with her U.S. citizen children rather than abandoning them could be subject to this criminal penalty."

MG: "Republicans say the house bill places tougher penalties on alien smuggling rings and those who help them, not charities, churches, or Good Samaritans."

JC: " We've even heard a member of this body claim Jesus himself would be prosecuted under the provisions of the House bill, when no member of the Senate and no member of the House has ever indicated that that was their intent or understanding of the law."

Comment: Notice Cornyn's wording: "ever indicated that that was their intent or understanding of the law". Maybe not, but could it be construed this way? They may not have "intended" for it to be read that way, but what if it was by later Senators or Presidents? Just because the intent to use it in a certain situation isn't there, doesn't mean the law isn't ambiguous enough that someone in the future COULD.

And if the bill WAS clear in that clergy and charities couldn't be prosecuted, why in the world would Durbin's amendment pass?

MG: "Last week NY Senator Hillary Clinton accused Republicans of looking to jail Jesus. Republicans dismissed that charge as nonsense."

Comment: That certainly IS nonsense! Especially since Jesus has been dead for over 2,000 years. I think it would be a little difficult to put him in jail now! Oh wait! That isn't what Clinton said at all, but merely another Fox reporter taking her words out of context.

She actually said, "It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scripture, because this bill would literally criminalize the good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself."

The segment went on to discuss the guest worker program and the debate swirling around this provision, but not once in the entire segment did Garrett mention that the two amendments added to the bill were actually sponsored by Democrats, nor did he mention that the Republicans were split over this bill. The segment was misleading and lead the viewer to believe that this was another "win" for the Republican-controlled Senate and that Democrats were nothing but obstructionists.

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