Media Moguls Urge Congress to Reform Immigration

Suzanne Gamboa, WTOP-FM (Washington, D.C.), September 30, 2010

They weren’t as funny as television Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert, but media moguls Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg made a similar appeal to Congress: Do something about immigration.

Murdoch, the founder of News Corp., urged lawmakers during a hearing Thursday to match attempts to secure the border with efforts to ensure that employers can’t hire people illegally.

For his part, Bloomberg, the mayor of New York as well as the founder of the financial news and information service bearing his name, told lawmakers that they should show some leadership on the issue.

“We need immigrants,” Bloomberg said. “That’s the future of this country and whether the public understands that or not it’s Congress’ job to lead.”

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Murdoch and Bloomberg lead a coalition of businesses and mayors to push for immigration reform. The group supports providing a path to legal status for those in the U.S. illegally. Murdoch himself was born in Australia and, while expanding his interests in U.S. media, became an American citizen in 1985. Citizenship allowed him to own U.S. television stations.

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Murdoch and Bloomberg said they believe Congress needs to help employers discern between workers authorized to work in the U.S and those who are not. The Obama administration has been auditing employers to find those hiring people illegally.

Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat, told Murdoch she thought his support for immigration reform did not match coverage of the immigration issue by Fox News, which is a large part of his News Corp. empire. She said his testimony was contradictory to Fox News “talking about anchor babies.” The term, considered derogatory by some, is a reference to children born to at least one illegal immigrant parent.

“Why don’t you use your power to help us to promote what you are talking about?” Waters asked.

“I would say that we do,” Murdoch said. “We certainly employ a lot of immigrants at Fox . . . and we do not take any consistent anti-immigrant line.”

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