Ag Policy Blog

Rupert Murdoch: Congress Should Act on Immigration Reform

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Media mogul Rupert Murdoch called on Republicans to pass immigration reform in an op-ed posted Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal, one of Murdoch's U.S. media outlets.

Murdoch cites his disappointment over the primary loss last week by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and expressed concern that Cantor's loss will cause the GOP to push aside any attempts at immigration reform. Given Murdoch's ownership of not only the WSJ but FOX News, Murdoch's opinion on immigration reform has the potential to generate synergy for Republicans to consider possible action on immigration.

"People are looking for leadership -- those who stand for something and offer a vision for how to take America forward and keep our nation economically competitive. One of the most immediate ways to revitalize our economy is by passing immigration reform."

House Republicans will offer a glimpse of just what direction they could go on such an issue when they take votes on replacements in House leadership. Some ardent opponents of immigration reform are looking to back candidates who oppose "amnesty." House GOP members will vote on a new majority leader and whip who will serve in those positions until another leadership vote after the mid-term elections.

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Agricultural groups have sided with other business groups in advocating for immigration reform. They have advocated for both legalizing those undocumented farm workers and create an easier system for bringing in guest workers. Murdoch agreed with the importance this labor force plays in our economy.

"If we are serious about advancing our economic future and about creating job growth here in America, then we must realize that it is suicidal to suggest closing our doors to the world's entrepreneurs, or worse, to continue with large-scale deportations," he wrote.

Murdoch cited that immigrants are entrepreneurial, being responsible for 28% of all new businesses in 2011. He also acknowledged that it's complicated to legalize roughly 11 million people now here illegally. Still, Murdoch called on not only legalizing those people but creating a path to citizenship. Some House Republicans view that idea with great abhorrence.

"Some politicians and pundits will argue that this is not the time to bring immigration reform to the congressional floor—that it will frighten an already anxious workforce and encourage more extreme candidates, especially on the right. They may be right about the short-term politics, but they are dead wrong about the long-term interests of our country," Murdoch argued.

Murdoch said the president has been prudent to encourage a bi-partisan solution from Congress rather than act aggressively through executive orders. However, the chairman of News Corp. said it is time for Congress to act.

Murdoch's full editorial: http://dld.bz/…

Chris Clayton can be reached at chris.clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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