Republican Blames Fox News for Hindering Support for His Position on Immigration Reform

Edwin Mora | May 20, 2011 | 4:01am EDT
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Washington ( - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), when talking to Capitol reporters, said that Fox News makes it difficult for him to garner support for his stance on immigration reform, which includes a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens already living in the country.

The senator, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said that Fox News using the word “amnesty” during the 24-hour news cycle has hindered support for his position on reforming the U.S. immigration system, which lawmakers on both sides say is broken. 

“In today’s world, it’s very hard for bi-partisan agreements to be formed,” said Graham, “because those who don’t like what you’re trying to do are able to generate a lot of pushback early on, so this 24 hour news cycle makes it very, very difficult, but not impossible.

“Let’s talk about immigration. When Fox News is saying ‘amnesty’ 24 hours a day, it makes it harder for me to get people on my side,” he added. “When the left, through MSNBC, talks about the tax cuts being a sell-out and going back to Bush policies, it makes harder for our Democratic colleagues. 

“My statement to my colleagues is even though people are loud, that doesn’t mean they’re the majority,” Graham continued. “So if you’re doing things that make sense, just trust the country to figure it out, but in this environment of constant media scrutiny it is very difficult. I don’t know how you would have written the Constitution in this environment.”

President Obama, who vowed to get immigration reform moving in Congress during his first year in office, gave his support in March 2010 to an immigration reform proposal crafted by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Graham.

The plan would provide a “pathway to citizenship” for the illegal immigrants who are already living in this country, which critics call amnesty.  

In March 2011, Graham said, “If you secure your border, control who gets a job in America, I’m more than willing to give a legal status to the 10 or 12 million so they don’t have to live in fear, but they come out of the shadows, they identify themselves, they pay a fine, they work, pay taxes, they learn our language, and if they want to be a citizen, they get in the back of the line.”

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