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Why Bill O'Reilly now supports immigration reform

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A border-security compromise struck by two Republican senators and the authors of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill is not only winning over perhaps a dozen or more Republicans to the cause: It’s also made an immigration reform believer out of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

“It is time for the USA to pass immigration reform,” Mr. O’Reilly said on his show, "The O’Reilly Factor," Thursday night. “For years I’ve called for a more secure Southern border, you know that. And now it looks like the secure border is in reach, at least somewhat. So I hope this bill does become law.”

O’Reilly and other conservative pundits have been getting an earful from Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida, among other conservative immigration reform proponents in Congress, in an attempt to win over the television and radio personalities who play a pivotal role in conservative politics.

Although O’Reilly denied claims he had already given his assurances privately to GOP senators that he would back the bill (a claim made in a recent piece in The New Yorker), it is the border-security compromise – worked out by Sens. Bob Corker (R) of Tennessee and John Hoeven (R) of North Dakota with a handful of the Senate bill’s authors, known as the “Gang of Eight” – that finally paved the way for his support.

That compromise, still being finalized as of Friday afternoon, would do the following before any of the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented people can obtain permanent legal status:

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