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.

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:…

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Jay Mcginnis
6/25/2014 | 6:45 AM CDT
Very good Don, I agree with you except that non-US citizen troops are fighting for our 1st amendment, they are in fact fighting for oil, nothing else and sadly the fact that the "all volunteer" army exists and is made up of people "earning" citizenship allows such wars as Iraq to go on for decades. Had that army been of drafted US citizens that war would never had happened or at least been over with years ago. "The Troops" are no longer the same guys that the Right imagine them to be, ironically they are cheering on the people they want to deport.
Don Thompson
6/24/2014 | 7:57 AM CDT
Mr. Kessler, It is a shame that many of our troops are on assistance and it has been that way for awhile. By the way, many of those troops are non-US citizens putting their lives on the line so "real Americans" can have their 1st Amendment rights to condemn them being here. Let me remind you that your non subsidized cattle or hogs are eating or were eating tons of subsidized grains and traveling to market on government infrastructure. We have millions of immigrants here now. Give us a "reasonable" solution. Bonnie, I think a brush up on your Spanish historical influence may be in order. How does a comparison of past bad actors affect our decision on current immigration policy? Do we need to readdress the crusades versus current Islamic phobia?
Bonnie Dukowitz
6/24/2014 | 6:04 AM CDT
Good thing for the rest of the world, Spains' predominant presence was South of the Rio Grande. Queen Isabella was certainly not the Virgin Mary. Cortez would have made the modern day Dictators appear to be cream puffs. Where in the world, Jay, did what you describe not happen?
Jay Mcginnis
6/23/2014 | 10:34 PM CDT
I can not see anything in my previous post that hints at racism, maybe you expect to be seen that way being in your position? 1492 there were no laws, you are right and without any form of government oversight an entire people were massacred, raped, diseased and pushed of their land by a group of people that believed they worshipped a superior god and therefor permitted by divine province to cause such a genocide. There were no laws to be broken but what about morality? I am not for "open borders" but this country has a serious problem and it is not being fixed by the "party of no".
Bonnie Dukowitz
6/23/2014 | 5:46 PM CDT
I agree Mr. Kessler, how unfortunate, so many are governed by emotional rhetoric, rather than practical, intelligent thought.
David Kessler
6/23/2014 | 11:38 AM CDT
Mr. Thompson, I thank anyone who served our country in the military, and obviously if they suffered a disability in service to the country we owe them care and a living, something we have not done well. If we have active duty troops on food stamps, shame on us for not supporting our men and women on duty to provide them and their families with a decent standard of living. I don't quite understand why active duty troops would get unemployment benefits. My point was we are supporting more people than ever who do not work and pay taxes. Bringing in millions of new immigrants will make it even harder to find jobs for these unemployed folks, most of whom I believe do want to work but can't find jobs that pay a decent wage. Creating a huge new pool of workers to take substandard wage jobs will do nothing to raise the wages for those jobs to living wage levels. My point was the ag and business interests want these workers so they can continue to pay $7 - $10 per hour instead of the $15 to $20 per hour it would take to give workers a living wage. Also, for clarity, I raise livestock and the only federal government money I have received is for conservation programs. It consisted of funds to fence off and remove cattle from riparian areas. As for Mr. McGinnis, the difference now is our economy is only growing at a very low rate. While I don't think that there were laws against folks coming here in 1492 so it could not have been illegal, although Native Americans, which I am part, wish it had been, the reality is that we needed immigrants in the past because we had a vast country growing at an extremely fast rate. There was not an unemployed population to call on to take the jobs that needed to be done. Your comment offends me because it hints that those who are against immigration are racist while what I am trying to show is that there are solid economic reasons why now is not the time for bringing new people into the country.
Jay Mcginnis
6/22/2014 | 8:36 PM CDT
Obviously illegal immigration has been a hot topic since the first crossed illegally here in 1492. How far back should the GOP go in their deportations?
Bonnie Dukowitz
6/20/2014 | 12:53 PM CDT
Are some on the correct page or article? The analogy of Mr. Kessler nor the article itself refers to veterans or veteran benefits. The subject matter is illegal immigration and the related issues.
Don Thompson
6/20/2014 | 7:26 AM CDT
David Kessler Such an insulting and uncalled for comment from all perspectives. Who exactly is David Kessler to say "we the people"? WE the people have veterans and active duty troops on food stamps and/or unemployment and disability benefits. How does that jive with your comments? I hope you are not a "farmer" complaining about spending on government programs.
David Kessler
6/19/2014 | 8:53 AM CDT
What an odd alliance driven by greed! Democrats salivate over millions of new voters that will presumably vote in favor of them. Ag and business interests see a pool of low wage workers they can hire to avoid paying wages that families can actually live on. Meanwhile, we the people support millions of non-working people through unemployment, food stamps and easy to qualify for disability payments. Expanding the number of low wage guest workers will do nothing to reduce the number of un or under employed. Simple economics says that if you raise the supply, in this case of labor, you reduce the price - wages. Subsidize something and you get more of it - in this case people not working. The left is very successful at painting those against immigration and amnesty as racist, but the reality is deportation and closing the borders is the best economic route to take for the average American. I feel sorry for those who would be hurt by such a policy, but in reality they shouldn't be here.