The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Dobbs Courts Latino Support, Angers Nativists

By Larry Keller on December 1, 2009 - 12:05 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Think back to Jennifer Anniston’s distress when Brad Pitt dallied with Angelina Jolie; Debbie Reynolds’ angst when Eddie Fisher strayed with Elizabeth Taylor. Now meet the latest big-name heartbreaker: Lou Dobbs. No, he hasn’t left his wife. But some of his most ardent anti-immigration supporters at Americans for Legal Immigration PAC – ALIPAC — are feeling shock and betrayal like that of a cuckolded lover. Lou, they cry, has embraced the enemy, caught in flagrante delicto on the American Spanish-language television network, Telemundo, making nice to Hispanics and immigrants. And if you missed the program, why, there it is on YouTube. To some ALIPAC members, it was comparable to a far-right conservative discovering Ann Coulter in a steamy tryst with Bill Maher.

Dobbs, you recall, left CNN as abruptly as a ruler toppled in a coup on Nov. 11, after the SPLC and other organizations had persistently urged he be fired because of his repeated falsehoods about undocumented immigrants on his CNN show and on his radio program. One of the most infamous myths, in 2005, was that they were at least partly responsible for 7,000 new cases of leprosy in the United States in the prior three years. There actually were about 400 new cases, and nobody knew what role immigrants had in those numbers. The Columbia Journalism Review wrote that Dobbs was “tamper[ing] with facts” and David Leonhardt wrote in The New York Times that “Mr. Dobbs has a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”

Then Dobbs was interviewed on Telemundo’s Al Rojo Vivo on Nov. 20. He assured the Latino community that he is one of its “greatest friends” who has been falsely portrayed by the far left. He told interviewer Maria Celeste that “we need the ability to legalize illegal immigrants under certain conditions.” He added, “What isn’t working is a penalty to those who are in this country illegally for whom we can both be building a bridge to the future in which there is legalization and at the same time constructing an environment in which everyone is clear and unequivocal about the need for border security and a regulated flow of immigration.”
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