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CNN Host Marches With Immigrant Activists, Pushes Immigration Reform

Morgan Spurlock poses simply as the host of a CNN mini-series Inside Man, meant to take the audience "inside" a number of issues like guns, immigration, and education. As his evident bias on the "Guns" and "Immigration" episodes shows, however, Spurlock's documentaries score liberal points rather than just educate CNN viewers, as his innocuous promos suggest.

On Sunday night's "Immigration" episode, Spurlock actually marched with immigrant activists pushing for immigration reform. Most of the episode sympathized with a group of guest workers and immigration activists while no air time was given to opponents of the current immigration bill before Congress.

[Video below. Audio here.]

In particular, one ridiculous exchange at a immigration rally exposed Spurlock's brazen advocacy:

SPURLOCK: What's holding up these things getting pushed through?

Sister ANN KENDRICK, Farmworkers community activist: They just don't want this crowd, you know, in the ascendancy mix.

SPURLOCK: Right. Why is that?

KENDRICK: My personal opinion is in part, because they're brown.

SPURLOCK: No brown people in power?

KENDRICK: Well, you know, it's the demographic is changing, you know. And this -- if this crowd gets legalized, you know, it's a young community with children. They're voters.

So racist Americans don't want more "brown" people voting. Yes, that made the CNN cut.

After Spurlock joined the activists in meeting with Sen. Marco Rubio's state director Todd Reed, he hailed it as "kind of like a little very exciting democracy-in-action moment today." Spurlock then joined the activists in a trip to Washington, touting the newly-released Gang of Eight proposals on the issue.

Spurlock concluded by pointing to a teenage son of one of the subjects of his show: "A kid as dedicated as Carlos deserves the chance to contribute to society. And if immigration reform becomes a reality, the possibilities are endless."

Below is a partial transcript of the show Inside Man, which aired on CNN on July 14 at 10 p.m. EDT:

MORGAN SPURLOCK, CNN host (voice-over): They're undocumented immigrants, and they know where it comes from, because they pick the oranges that are in it. They also pick the tomatoes in your salad, mow your lawns, clean your hotel rooms, hang your drywall, even help raise your children. Right now, there's an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in this country today.

(...)

SPURLOCK: A lot of people think undocumented immigrants are somehow abusing our social system. But in reality they're not even in the system.

CARLOS: This is my home.

SPURLOCK: They aren't eligible for benefits, even if many of them live well below the poverty line.

(...)

SPURLOCK: (on camera) I'm in Claremont, Florida this morning with Carlos, who is here today to participate in a march, organized by Forward With your Promise, an immigration rights group.

CARLOS: We're out here to make sure that Obama keeps his promises.

SPURLOCK: (voice-over) When Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008, he promised an overhaul of immigration in the United States and he did just that. President Obama deported nearly as many undocumented immigrants, 1.5 million in his first term than George W. Bush did in both his terms combined.

DANIEL BARAJAS, Forward With Your Promise march organizer: What we're trying to do is not just raise awareness about the broken immigration system, but to say stop with the deportations until you fix the problem.

SPURLOCK: (on camera) Right.

(Voice-over) Now that Obama has been reelected, he is making another promise that a comprehensive immigration reform will be in place by the end of his first year of his second term. But not everyone believes that will happen.

(On camera) What's holding up these things getting pushed through?

Sister ANN KENDRICK, Farmworkers community activist: They just don't want this crowd, you know, in the ascendancy mix.

SPURLOCK: Right. Why is that?

KENDRICK: My personal opinion is in part, because they're brown.

SPURLOCK: No brown people in power?

KENDRICK: Well, you know, it's the demographic is changing, you know. And this -- if this crowd gets legalized, you know, it's a young community with children. They're voters.

SPURLOCK: So just how important is the Latino vote? As the fastest-growing minority group in the U.S., Latinos make up 16 percent of the population. In you want to be president of the United States, you need their support. And savvy politicians are already going after it.

(...)

SPURLOCK: In 2008, 67 percent of the Latino vote went to Barack Obama. And in 2012, they voted to reelect him with 71 percent of their vote, a vote they expect to lead to change.

CROWD: Hey, Obama! Don't deport my Mama! Hey, Obama! Don't deport my Mama!

SPURLOCK: But immigration reform is too big of an issue for just one party. So the marchers have made their way to Orlando, Florida, where they have assembled outside the office of Republican senator Marco Rubio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In front of senator Rubio's office, we ask him to stand up and champion our cause.

SPURLOCK: They're giving a couple of speeches. A lot of the local media has shown up. And now the plan is for them all to march inside and get Senator Marco Rubio to make a statement.

The son of Cuban immigrants, Rubio has the youth, energy, and background story that connects with many Latinos.

Sen. MARCO RUBIO (R-Fla.): My grandfather was born to a farming family in rural Cuba.

SPURLOCK: And for a party that's woefully out of touch with 16 percent of the population, Rubio is the GOP's best shot at reaching this crucial vote.

(...)

SPURLOCK: It was kind of like a little very exciting democracy-in-action moment today.

REED: I don't want to get ahead of the senator on this, but I would anticipate in the next few weeks you're going to hear him speak very clearly where he is on this issue.

SPURLOCK: Maybe this is just a first step for them. So, we will see what happens in the next few weeks. But I think that this could have been the catalyst toward something bigger happening.

(...)

SPURLOCK: As planned, the forward with your promise group marched on to Washington, where they got their meeting with Senator Rubio. But they had to wait a few more weeks to finally get a taste of what they all came to Washington for.

Sen. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.): We're here to announce a set of bipartisan principles for comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

SPURLOCK: The Gang of Eight are a group of senators, including Senator Rubio, who have joined together across party lines to agree that immigration reform needs to happen, and it needs to happen now. Maybe not for the best reasons.

Sen. JOHN MCCAIN (R-Ariz.): The Republican Party is losing the support of our Hispanic citizens.

SCHUMER: For the first time ever, there is more political risk in opposing immigration reform than in supporting it.

SPURLOCK: But if reform is the result, that's all that matters to people like Carlos.

(...)

SPURLOCK: A kid as dedicated as Carlos deserves the chance to contribute to society. And if immigration reform becomes a reality, the possibilities are endless. 

-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center