Lou Dobbs Apologizes!On March 10, 2009, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs made disparaging remarks about the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a national organization representing more than 2.5 million Hispanic-owned business, after President Obama delivered a major speech at their annual conference.
DOBBS: Making a decision to talk about a national initiative on education from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which is effectively an organization that is interested in the export of American capital and production to Mexico, and Mexico's export of drugs and illegal aliens to the United States. This is crazy stuff.1Crazy, indeed. Dobbs essentially accused the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of working to further human and drug trafficking on the U.S.-Mexico border. A week later, after a stern demand for an apology from USHCC,2 Dobbs apologized:
DOBBS: I want to make a correction to something I said last week. I made a mistake talking with correspondent Lisa Sylvester after her report on President Obama's unveiling the education initiative in front of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In my conversation with Lisa, I said the Hispanic chamber of commerce is interested in the export of American capital and American production to Mexico and Mexico's export of drugs and illegal aliens into the U.S. I believe any opens borders policy does facilitate not only illegal immigration but also the trafficking of massive amounts of illicit drugs. I, of course, do not believe that the chamber supports or condones either drug or human trafficking. My apologies to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. And I hope that they will forgive me for that misspeaking.3That Dobbs decided to go back on such heinous statement is encouraging, but the fact that he continues to characterize the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as numerous other advocacy groups, as “open borders” continues to be unacceptable. Nearly every major Hispanic advocacy organization supports comprehensive immigration reform, which has always included measures to strengthen border security.4 To call these groups “open borders” is a factual lie, and it must stop.
1. Lou Dobbs, "Lou Dobbs Tonight," CNN, aired 10 Mar 2009.
2. Rob Kuznia, "Lou Dobbs' Statements Prompt Hispanic Chamber to Demand Retraction," HispanicBusiness.Com, 17 Mar 2009.
3. Lou Dobbs, "Lou Dobbs Tonight," CNN, aired 17 Mar 2009.
4. "Guiding Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform," MALDEF Website ; "Border Security and Immigration," NCLR Website. "National Latino Leaders Urge Senate to Oppose Piecemeal Immigration Reform Legislation," LULAC Website ; David Lizarraga, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, "Testimony to House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration," 20 Aug 2007 ; "NHLA 2008 Hispanic Policy Agenda," National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.