by David Safier
On his CNN show, Rick Sanchez made the same point I made yesterday while he was talking with Ed Henry, then Henry contradicted it. Sanchez was 100% right. Henry was 100% wrong. But Henry got the last word.
Sanchez said, and I'm paraphrasing, Look, people underestimate the goodness of Americans. A CNN poll yesterday said, 80% of Americans believe illegal immigrants who pay back taxes and work should be allowed to stay here.
Ed Henry replied with complete confidence — and once again I'm paraphrasing — The poll asked about immigrants. If it had specified illegal immigrants, the numbers would have been reversed. Then he went on to say how much Americans fear illegals.
Here is the item verbatim from the CNN poll:
Creating a program that would allow illegal immigrants already living in the United States for a number of years to stay here and apply to legally remain in this country permanently if they had a job and paid back taxes. [emphasis added]
Words 7 and 8 are "illegal" and "immigrants." Henry was absolutely, completely, 100% wrong.
Henry said what he wanted to be true and didn't let facts get in the way. He could have said he thought the poll asked about immigrants in general, not illegal immigrants. He could have asked Sanchez if he was sure the question was about illegals. Since it's the CNN newsroom, someone could have dug up the poll and checked. Hell, I found it on the CNN website in about a minute; it's not that hard.
But no, he stated it as a fact. He took what is a very important point Sanchez made and stood it on its head.
I'm going to say, though I don't know much about him, Henry did this for ideological reasons. Later, he said Republicans would have voted for the Bush/McCain/Kennedy immigration reform bill, but there wasn't enough about securing the border in it.
That's a pure, unadulterated Republican talking point. If the Republicans were serious about "securing the border" and didn't want to keep the phrase as an eternal talking point, they would set some parameters for what "securing the border" means. Is it zero tolerance? Is it cutting the traffic in half? If the term isn't defined, it's meaningless.
I would love to have the point corrected on Sanchez' show tomorrow. I plan to write CNN, for all the good it will do. But I don't have high hopes.