Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly said he backs the Senate’s Gang of Eight proposal to overhaul immigration reform.

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“It is time for the USA to pass immigration reform,” O’Reilly said on his show Thursday night, adding that he hopes “this bill does become law.”

“It’s not perfect, but it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

O’Reilly said immigration reform was politically necessary for Republicans, as Hispanic voters have fled the Republican Party in recent elections.

“The Republican Party has a lot to lose here,” he said. “If it doesn’t compromise, many Hispanic voters will reject the GOP entirely, pretty much dooming the party in the future.”

Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioSenate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer McConnell on Trump: 'We could do with a little less drama' Taking the easy layup: Why brain cancer patients depend on it MORE (Fla.), a member of the Gang of Eight and the central GOP figure in the immigration reform debate, has insisted that politics are not a driving factor in the reform push.


On Thursday, Sens. Bob CorkerBob CorkerA retreat from the Paris climate pact would imperil U.S. interests Cohn: US ‘probably looking to get tougher’ on Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Tenn.) and John HoevenJohn HoevenRepublicans go to battle over pre-existing conditions Overnight Healthcare: Divisions emerge in Senate over preexisting conditions GOP senators meet with insurer for input on ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-N.D.) announced a breakthrough agreement to bolster security along the southern border. Rubio supports the amendment, and has said he hopes it will solidify bipartisan support for the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill.

Rubio’s praise and O’Reilly’s reach could be critical in helping the measure win Republican support for passing immigration reform with an overwhelming majority in the Senate.

Rubio has been in the crosshairs of conservatives who have criticized the legislation as weak on border security. Corker said his amendment was so strong on border security that it was “almost overkill.”