Awards for Commentary on Reform Proposal

By Jerry Kammer, January 30, 2013

Most Sweeping Statement. Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos: "It's the most important immigration news since the amnesty 27 years ago."

Statement Most Likely to Trigger a Rush Across the Border. Univsion newsman Enrique Acevedo: "It will benefit the undocumented who are already in the United States, but the proposal doesn't say as of what date."

Best Indication of Potential Republican Identity Crisis. Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Nation :"Senator Rand Paul talked to the Cincinnati Inquirer recently and he said this: 'We're going to have to be a little hands off on some of these issues.' He's talking about the social issues."

Most Pointed Advice to Republicans about How to Change the Tone of Their Discussion of Immigration. Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on CNN's State of the Nation: "Every time the president talks about business, there's always a 'but' in the sentence. And when you hear some Republicans talk about immigration, there is always a 'but' in the sentence. People sense that. People, you know, they have a gut feel for that. We've got to make people feel welcome."

Second-Most Pointed Advice to Republicans. Republican strategist Kevin Madden on CBS's Face the Nation: "It really comes down to this fundamental idea, this principle — which is: are we going to talk about what we're for or are we going to talk about what we're against? We've lulled ourselves into a belief that in the 2010 elections, because we had very good results in the midterms, that we could be a party of no and run against spending, run against deficits. But in order to prosper and become a majority party we have to talk about what we're for. What do Republicans stand for? What does an aspirational, modernized immigration system look like? And how is it part a larger economic argument. How is it part of the argument of values and families? That is our challenge as part of the rebuilding process going forward."

Worst Example of Cluelessness about Fiscal Effects. Juan Williams on the O'Reilly Factor: Responding to O'Reilly's accurate observation that many families of illegal immigrants receive some form of public assistance and will eventually be eligible to receive more if the new proposal becomes law. Williams, apparently unaware that illegal immigrant parents can enroll their U.S.-born children in welfare programs, said the concern was unfounded because "There are tough eligibility requirements. In addition to which immigrants pay taxes and oftentimes are not eligible for child services and all the rest."