The man who owns the country’s largest conservative media organization, Rupert Murdoch, is begging his party to support comprehensive immigration reform.
Murdoch, an immigrant himself, wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that immigration reform “can’t wait.”
Murdoch is the head of 21st Century Fox and News Corp., which own and operate Fox News and the Journal, respectively, among other outlets. His op-ed is out just a day after Murdoch was spotted having dinner with White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to discuss immigration reform, according to Wednesday’s Politico Playbook.
His plea comes on the heels of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning defeat in his Virginia primary, largely because of his tepid support for immigration reform, which his opponent David Brat slammed.
“Like others who want comprehensive immigration reform, I worried that Mr. Cantor’s loss would be misconstrued and make Congress reluctant to tackle this urgent need. That would be the wrong lesson and an undesirable national consequence of this single, local election result,” Murdoch wrote.
Murdoch has long been an advocate of immigration reform, notably tweeting last year that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is “right” on immigration reform. “Boehner should allow House of Reps to vote on immigration. Lead, for country’s sake,” he wrote.
In the column, Murdoch advocates for giving illegal immigrants in the country already a path to citizenship—after a background check—and increasing the number of visas we give to highly skilled workers. He also advocates for further securing the borders.
“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,” he notes.
Murdoch concludes his plea by suggesting that the president has “shown wise restraint” in not using executive action, but notes that if Congress fails, he “might feel tempted to act via executive order.”
“All the more reason, then, to recognize that the facts are on the side of reform, and democratic societies don’t advance when our elected officials act like seat-warmers,” he concludes.
President Barack Obama has also attempted to keep immigration reform on the table in the wake of Cantor’s loss.
“Some of you saw that there was an interesting election yesterday,” the president said a day after Cantor’s loss. “And it’s interesting to listen to the pundits and the analysts, and some of the conventional wisdom talks about, oh, the politics of immigration reform seem impossible now. I fundamentally reject that. And I will tell the Speaker of the House that he needs to reject that.”