THE U.S. COULD DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IF IT WANTED TO, LOU DOBBS TELLS LESLEY STAHL IN A "60 MINUTES" PROFILE SUNDAY ON CBS
He has never called for the deportation of all illegal immigrants, but Lou Dobbs believes the U.S. could pull off such a feat if it really wanted to. The CNN anchor, whose stance against illegal immigration has helped raise his ratings but also fueled criticism, speaks to Lesley Stahl for a profile to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday, May 6 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Dobbs is against amnesty programs for illegal immigrants and the president's guest worker proposal, so Stahl wonders whether Dobbs thinks the government could deport all illegal immigrants. "I've never called for their deportation," says Dobbs. "But at the same time, when this president and open-borders, illegal-alien-amnesty advocates say, 'You can't deport them,' my answer is, 'You want to bet?' because this is the United States. I think this country can do anything it sets its mind to," he tells Stahl. Click here to watch this excerpt.
The former host of "Moneyline" for over 20 years, a business program on CNN, Dobbs has transformed himself into a purveyor of "News, debate and opinion" in the words used to introduce his current CNN program, "Lou Dobbs Tonight." The debate is often about illegal immigration. He is a believer in curtailing illegal immigrants' access to some social services. "I happen to think that it is necessary, given the fact that the federal government won't control immigration and won't control our borders," Dobbs tells Stahl. Dobbs says he's not for shutting off medical services, but illegal immigrants' use of other entitlements and the public schools is problematic. "Going to food stamps -- should taxpayers be paying for food stamps? Should taxpayers be burdened with schools that are overcrowded?" Dobbs asks. "[Taxpayers'] children, therefore, are being denied education. Those are very serious issues," he says.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus accused Dobbs of being anti-Hispanic for these types of views. "I was asked if I'd ever eaten a taco before, for God's sake," says Dobbs, who has been married to a Mexican-American for 25 years. Hispanics have called for his job and Dobbs finds such criticism ironic because he grew up on a small farm and picked crops alongside migrants. "I am probably one of the few people in the debate who actually has [worked with migrants]. I've got the greatest respect for those folks," he tells Stahl.
Dobbs' opinions are a main feature of his nightly program, behavior that would exclude him from the classic definition of journalist as an objective reporter. Nevertheless, he still considers himself a journalist. Here's his opinion on that: "The idea that a reporter should be disqualified because he or she actually cares, actually isn't neutral about the well-being of the country and its people, that's absurd," he tells Stahl.