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Hume: Democrats are to Blame for Lack of Immigration Bill

Reported by Janie - April 6, 2006

Yesterday (4/5) on Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News Correspondent Major Garrett filed a report discussing the hold-up on the Immigration Reform Bill and according to Hume, Garrett and Senate Republicans, the delay is only due to "obstuctionist" Democrats.

Hume opened the segment, before turning it over to Garrett, "Senate Democrats sensing a political advantage have blocked action this week on the immigration reform bill while hoping Republicans will be blamed for the standoff. GOP leaders worked behind the scenes to end the stalemate, but as Fox News Correspondent Major Garrett reports, the Republicans were also fuming."

MG: "Senate Majority leader Bill Frist called Republicans to the floor to accuse Democrats of blocking immigration reform."

Bill Frist (clip): "The monarchy refuses to vote. They refuse to give us simple votes, up or down votes on issues that we can debate on the floor. (cut) They show a lack of courage, I think conviction and leadership to fix the problem."

Comment: When in the WORLD are the Republicans going to realize that Democrats aren't in power, and have virtually NO power right now? Republicans control the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, but the Democrats are the "monarchy"? Doesn't Frist realize that the first step of being a monarchy is being in charge?

MG: "Earlier, Frist summoned law makers of both parties to his office off the Senate floor in search of a compromise that could attract the 60 votes needed to break and expected filibuster. Among those who came Florida Republican Mel Martinez and Democratic point man on immigration, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. Other key players, Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and John McCain of Arizona."

McCain (clip): "We are close, and if we can reach an agreement, I think it would have 60 votes in this body. I haven't seen an issue in years that has so much emotion associated with it."

MG: "The toughest issue, legalizing at least 11 million illegal workers here now. The latest proposal denied citizenship to any illegal in America for less then two years. Those here between 2 and 5 years could apply for citizenship at a port of entry, like San Diego or El Paso and reenter after receiving work authorization. Those here longer than 5 years could apply directly for citizenship. But Specter said no compromise can take root with the Senate stymied."

Specter: "We are at an impasse, the rules of the Senate have been used to block meaningful consideration of the pending legislation."

MG: "The best example, Arizona's John Kyl has waited 5 days for a vote on an amendment to deny citizenship to felons."

John Kyl (clip): "What's happening here is, that the Democratic side wants to vote on certain amendments, most of which don't go to the heart of the bill."

MG: "In a policy statement, the White House told the Senate to approve tighter boarder security, a temporary worker program, but rejected efforts to provide quote, automatic, unquote permanent citizenship for illegals here now. Today the president urged the Senate to speed up it's work."

GB (clip): "I think the members who are working hard to get a bill done are, I strongly urge them to come to conclusions quickly as possible. And pass a comprehensive bill."

MG: "Moments later Democrats announced however they would slow down things even more by refusing to even allow the introduction of new amendments. This legislative tangle fairly comical, at least by Senatorial standards."

Dick Durbin (clip): "I object to his amendment or modification of my unanimous consent request."

Lindsey Graham (clip): "Objection is heard, to somebody" (laughter)

MG: "With at least 500,000 illegals crossing the border each year, and political pressure building to pass an immigration bill, Republicans deplore the Democratic delays."

Comment: Here we have another typical Fox tactic: instilling fear in the hearts of the viewer, while making the Democrats the scapegoat for whatever the issue de jour may be. Fox does this with regularity, but generally amps up their effort during an election season. It seems that the Republicans and Fox want to make immigration the referendum for the 2006 election, and Garrett is getting a jump on his talking points. The sentence starts with "500,000 illegals crossing the border each year" - which will frighten the average viewer to demand something be done about the problem. But where to turn for that scapegoat? Through association - the Democrats, for their "deplore[able] tactics".

After a clip of Trent Lott trying to appear tough, Garrett closed with, "This bill is clearly in jeopardy, but there is talk at this hour of potential compromise along the lines of the one outlined in the piece we just saw Brit. Republican unity is beginning to build around this idea but the problem now, unexpectedly, is Democrats appear to be peeling away in response to Union objections to the increasing amount of temporary workers that this new compromise would provide."

Comment: So now we've got another insinuation against the Democrats in an attempt to further smear them- that they oppose the guest worker provision of the immigration bill because they are in the pocket of unions. Of course they mention this without mentioning that the Republicans are in the pocket of big business, and that's why they want the guest worker program included in the first place. So once again we have Fox promoting corporate and Republican interests over the interests of American workers - what a surprise.

This entire segment proves to be a sham, as they failed to report a vast majority of what is actually going on. The viewer of this segment was left with a completely false idea of what is happening in the United States Senate.

According to Time Magazine, the Democrats are not attempting to block legislation entirely as Fox would like you to believe. What the Democrats are attempting to do is have the version of the bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week be the final bill, because it was something that both Republicans and Democrats agreed on. If opened to changes by Republicans, which is what the Democrats are actually trying to avoid, the legislation may become something they can no longer support.

What Fox also neglected to mention is that this move is not just a political move on the part of the Democrats (and a smart one at that), this is a purely political adventure for the Republicans as well - and though they are getting angry, they are not getting angry because the Democrats are attempting to block new amendments to a bill, it's because the Democrats are standing up and fighting back, not allowing themselves to be painted into a corner by the Republicans over immigration reform, since the Republicans would like nothing more than to have Democrats on record voting against any sort of immigration legislation to use against them during the upcoming election season.

None of this was mentioned in the segment, which amounted to nothing more than a partisan attack on Democrats to help the image of the Republicans, who desperately need all the positive PR they can get prior to the 2006 elections. Those with their "heads buried in the sand", were left with another false impression of the Democratic party just as the Republicans would desire.

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